Friday, October 28, 2011
My Adventures As A Gypsy ATR . School #4.
After the horror show of my last school, I was placed in a very nice neighborhood small school. The school was carved out of thier middle school and the vast majority of students come from the middle school. The school is out-of-the-way from most other areas of Queens and there appears to be some selective weeding of out of the neighborhood students who have discipline or academic issues.
The students are well behaved and have been trained in the middle school to not enter a classroom until the teacher gives them permission to do so. The halls are clear of wandering students and the hallway Dean looks bored to death. They are very respectful to the teachers and the school's Administration praises the teachers publicly for their efforts. The respectful nature of the students and supportive Administration is a breath of fresh air after surviving the previous school. Better yet, there is available parking near the school and the rooms are loaded with technology. What was most impressive was that the students never took out their cellphones or ipads during my week there. Furthermore, no hats, hoodies, or sagging pants. Wow!
There are some downsides to the school. The Principal, who really is a good person, has gently encouraged teachers to have at least a 90% passing percentage otherwise he might make more frequent visits to the teacher's class, not nice. Moreover, he just loves technology and some teachers are questioning whether too much technology is a crutch and not an aid to student learning. He also demands that the classes do a pretest before giving the actual test. Many teachers are uncomfortable with the pretest issue since it results in grade inflation and doesn't contribute to student learning as it substitutes more test preparation at the expense of student understanding of the subject.
Overall this is a good school and I would gladly work there. However, if you take mass transit, good luck getting there.