"30 Schools In 30 Weeks"

My adventures as a Gypsy going from school To school in a futile search for a real teaching position.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My New Adventures As A Gypsy ATR - School #2

Well, I just finished another week of visiting another High School and found myself teaching in a subject area that I am not certified to teach in. I had five freshman classes who still have not had a regular teacher since the school year started and no one certified in their subject area. I really feel sorry for these students since they are already a month and a half behind their peers. However, more about that later in this post.

The school I was sent to was one of those small themed schools that now inhabit a building that once housed a large comprehensive school that was closed down. The staff was fine and the teachers were welcoming but the Administration had some issues and were usually unavailable to teacher needs and had a reputation as not addressing teacher complaints. The school had too many students roaming the halls during class time and because I was a substitute, some of the less than stellar students would see a friend in the hallway and get out of their seats to open the door to greet them. Classroom management was an ongoing problem and getting these Freshmen to do meaningful work was like pulling teeth. I asked a teacher " is the hallway always this crowded with students during class time"? His response was yes, the Administration hides in their offices all day. The students rule the school. Only the Dean scares the students and he can only be at one place at one time. By Friday, I was quite happy to say goodbye to the school and their undisciplined student body.

The Freshman class I had has four words that they use throughout their vocabulary. For the boys the "n" and "f" words are common adjectives and for the girls it is the "b" word that most invades their flowery language. They even call the boys the "b" word!. Many of the Freshman refused to make an effort to learn and work. When I asked them to make an effort I was met with either an icy glare or simply ignored. Some of the worst would say "You are not our teacher and we don't have to do anything you say". How common that was, especially by the girls. Some of the boys would simply put their heads down and go to sleep. The funny thing is that some of the worst students said they were sorry to see me go because I really tried to connect with them. Of course the real reason they wanted to keep me is that they could simply ignore me and not have any consequences for misbehaving and not doing work.

Well, I must end this post as I prepare to go to another High School in my excursion through the Queens High Schools and experience more examples of the DOE's "children last" policy in action.


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