Friday, January 24, 2014
In A School Far, Far, Away With Young White "Newbie Teachers". - School #14
Well, I found myself in the second of three small high schools in a closed comprehensive high school in Southeast Queens. This school is a 6-12 school and are required to wear uniforms. This doesn't mean that the boys keep their pants up and don't show their underwear, they do! Interesting how the Administration thinks that uniforms will change the behavior and academic outcomes of the students. Maybe in the middle school it might make a difference but not in the high school. This is a themed school but I wouldn't want any of the student body working on me if I was in need of medical care.
The school is top heavy with administration and they just hired their sixth AP, this one looks about 25 and I don't think he has ever shaved. His job is security and doing observations. On the other hand, the school has only one guidance counselor for the 425 students in the high school while having four teachers working as a one period guidance counselor for their circular six period. To me that seems dangerous and is a disservice to both the four teachers and the students they work with. These teachers don't have guidance licenses and could find themselves in trouble if their advice ends up to be harmful to the student. The school should have hired a second guidance counselor and not an Assistant Principal. I guess the Principal doesn't want to do observations and that's more important than giving the students the support they need.
The student body is nearly 100% minority with Black students making up the majority of the population and Hispanics making up most of the rest Teaching them is a nearly 100% young, white, and mostly untenured teachers in their 20's. Not a good fit if you ask me. Interestingly, the students were reasonably well behaved because of the snow and cold and more importantly, many of the problem students didn't bother to show up to school this week since it was the end of the semester and their grades were already decided upon. According to one teacher the school doesn't allow a grade of less than 55% since it allows the Principal to raise the student's grade to passing if the student can achieve a 65% the next semester, giving the student both credits instead of one. Credit recovery by another name if you ask me.
Parking is adequate but traveling there is a horror. I would not want a position in this school