The truth of the matter is that sometimes you can't. A fight can still happen within metres of a teacher.
You need to be proactive on duty. However, sometimes not matter how diligent, conscientious or observant you are, you may be called upon to staop a plaground fight.
The TRIPLE D strategy will help you stop a playground fight when called upon to do so.
The triple D strategy has three simple steps.
The first step you need to take to stop a playground fight is to DISTRACT students from hurting or hitting - what ever is occurring.
This might be a whistle or calling out. (Water on the fighting dogs!).
The aim is to get the offenders to focus on you, not each other.
("I'm here gentlemen/ladies. Look at me!" - repeat this calmly.).
If you can use humour, now is a good time to apply it. If not - DON'T.
Never get in the middle when trying to stop a playground fight, no matter how big you are. I've been dropped by a wayward kick from a preschooler and it hurts.
If you try to stop a playground fight with physical contact you put yourself at serious risk of facing assault allegations yourself.
The second step to stop a playground fight is to DIFFUSE the anger by NOT being angry yourself.
(Riots develop when both sides are angry.
Avoid shouting or panicking. Be calm - at least sound calm.
Keep your directions short and clear.
Never give more than ONE direction at a time.
"Bill, thanks for standing over there."
"John, thanks for putting your hands down."
Repeat if necessary but do not change the directions.
"OK. Let's sit down and face opposite directions."
Having students sit on the ground really has a calming effect.
(Watch what NYPD do).
... and then handcuff them to the nearest pole (joking).
The third step to stop a playground first is to DISPERSE.
You only need the offenders. Chase the watchers away.
}Move on citizens. Nothing to see here"
The next step depends on your level of authority. If you are comfortable dealing with the offenders at this point, then do it.
I suggest, if you are a relief teacher you probably need to pass the offenders over to some one.
Now ... that is another article!