A recent story from the NBC affiliate in Portland, Oregon, reports that increasing levels of verbal and physically violent classroom disruptions are causing teachers to leave their schools.

“This one student was daily, by the hour, getting up, bullying kids, putting his hands on kids,” says one teacher in the story. Another student ran out of class pretty much daily. “Not only did she have panic attacks, but she would also get up, throw her chair, and become what we would call a runner,” the teacher said.

According to the article, it wasn’t the students or their problems that made this teacher retire early. It was the lack of resources available to help them. This teacher also realized he needed to focus on self-care.

“That last year, I was close to a nervous breakdown. I was coming home and needed complete silence to regain my sanity,” the teacher said.

Do you have a classroom that is out of control? Are your students disruptive, violent, anxious, avoidant? Is your own well-being suffering because you just don’t know what to do? Ruby Payne has answers for you. In her book Emotional Poverty, you’ll find helpful strategies for students. You will also find thoughtful, instructive strategies for you as a teacher to maintain your own mind and spirit.