"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, December 6, 2013

Escape From Purgatory! - School #9

I must have been in the worst small school in Queens this week.  It's in the top three of Chaz's "do not apply" list and I can see why.This school is one of four schools that were carved out of a failing large school in Southeast Queens and the students of the school are the type of people I wouldn't want to encounter at night. The students dress and act "thuggish", even the girls!  This despite the fact that there is supposed to be a uniform dress code at the school.  The student disrespect of the school's staff and each other is very evident and if you're replacing a teacher the students are "out of control".  Curses and threats are heard everywhere in the school and the students have little fear of discipline when caught raiding the teacher's cafeteria to get chips and soda.  I never, saw anything like this anywhere else in Queens.

The school is supposed to have uniforms but few students bother to dress appropriately and there is no consequences for not having the school uniform.  Furthermore, the physical education classes do not enforce the rule for students to change into their gym clothes and 50% of the students don't even bother to participate in class, instead they sit on the bleachers and gossip until the period is over.

The student body consists of 75% Black and 25% Hispanic and many of the students come from the many low income projects in the area.  Most of the student body are either "level one" or "level two" students with either attendance or disciplinary issues and most of the students  admit that this was the only school that accepted them.  There are no advanced placement classes at the school and the highest science taken is Earth Science which has a Regents passing rate of below 20%.  By the way, there is no certified Earth Science teacher at this school, like many other schools I have been to.

The teachers approach their day as if they are planning a battle in a war and in a school of twenty teachers, most days see an average of two teachers absent due to the high stress in dealing with this challenging student body.  It's little wonder that there is a very high teacher turnover in the school.  I pity the teaching staff when many of them are rated "ineffective" due to the poor test scores with this deep poverty and "high needs" student body.

The only good thing I can say about this school is that I escaped unscathed and I won't be back this school year.



  1. Either far rock or campus magnet. Been to these schools and also escaped. Spent 7 weeks straight last year at 1 campus magnet school and was cursed at and disrespected constantly. The students ignored any of the assignments given to them and mostly threw the handouts on the floor and attempted to play cards and run in and out of the classroom. I tried to do the right thing and assist the students with the assignments but they weren't interested. The regular teacher in my subject couldn't handle these students and took the rest of the year off to try and regain his sanity. Guess it didn't work because this year I was back at the complex and looked for him and he never returned. Minimal help from the deans and security. Feel sorry for the teachers who must be evaluated by the progress of the students. To add insult to injury I was then assigned to another school in the building for another 3 weeks straight. 10 weeks of counting the days to escape. As atr's we need to call out these bad schools by name and not just vaguely refer to them as chaz must. By the way just spent 2 weeks at another of the schools at campus magnet and had a very difficult time. Something needs to be done about the almost total collapse of the family structure in these communities. The children deserve better!!!!!!! Sorry for the rant!

  2. I agree lets start to name these schools. The deans and the security are mostly useless. Many of them become deans to escape the classroom.

  3. As a former dean i can tell you, that i became a dean to help clean up my school and have voluntered as a dean while rotating as an atr. Some of us deans are trying to do good around here.

  4. Far Rock and Campus Maggot are good places to use sick days. Horrible places for atrs

  5. Was at campus magnet last year for a few weeks covering english. (maternity leave) Asked the a.p and his sec for student assignment everyday and half the time received some b.s busy work. One day I asked the a.p and sec for work numerous times and wasn't given any. Of course this is the day cruz walks in and asked me why the students weren't doing the assignment and I replied I wasn't given any work after asking numerous times. He told me I should engage the students in some topic instead of allowing them to do nothing. I replied I wasn't allowing them to do nothing, the class wasn't in my certified subject area and that if he approved a specific topic of discussion I would engage the students in it. I told him I wasn't going to engage the students in any topic or assignment that wasn't first approve by him or his a.p. I didn't want to be accused of teaching them or discussing something that wasn't permitted. He looked at me funny and walked out. On my last day at the school he did thank me for a good job. Not sure what he was trying to say but I survived.

  6. the same thing happened to me with cruz but I never got thanked - I got yelled at constantly and abused until the very last day . He is disgusting and should not be allowed anywhere near children - or adults for that matter - everyone who can leaves that place as fast as possible