Monday, November 17, 2014
I was assigned to a small international school in Long Island City and for the week I was assigned there was treated well by the Principal. The students come from all over the world but is majority Hispanic. The recent immigrants who go to the school have various academic levels from high achieving to barely literate. The students do not take Regents, except for English and are well behaved. However, the students lack school spirit and the senior class trip was cancelled due to lack of interest.
The school suffers from high staff turnover with six new teachers hired out of fifteen on staff. Few of the teachers are tenured and none highly experienced. Parking is available on Van Dam Street where the Public Storage building is and is within walking distance to all the schools in the area. However, be there by 7:30 am, otherwise its $15 parking.
My stay at International High School only lasted a week since the dysfunctional DOE tried to send me to a Middle School as a provisional appointment. However, thanks to Michael Sill of the UFT, the provisional appointment was rescinded since I am not licensed for middle school nor do I want to teach at that level. Instead of sending me back to the International school, I was sent to my next school who had no clue I was assigned there, Good job DOE.
Nice school but the commute is for hell.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
After being in the best high school in Queens, the next school was bound not to be as good and my next school was a transfer school and it was no piece of cake being there for the next three weeks. The transfer school is Voyagers Preparatory Academy in Elmhurst Queens and the students call their teachers by their first name, even the Principal. I wrote about this school last year and you can find it here. Few things have changed in a year, However, the Principal treated me and the other ATRs with respect and left us alone during our stay there.
The student body, like all transfer schools are overaged and under credited who have been removed from other high schools. Some of the students came out of incarceration and have parole officers and many have truancy issues. About 50% of the students show up on any given day. Respect issues abound and I was called a few choice names that are not part of the male body. In fact in one hour at the school I heard more curse words then I did in seven weeks at my first school. Moreover, the boys dressed and act "thuggish", with hoodies and music blasting from ear phones inside the hoodies. Underwear showing above the low lying pants is a constant look. Cellphones seems part of the student hand and many are texting or listening to music rather than during their work, even for their regular teachers. The students want to do as little work as possible and think simply showing up will get them a passing grade.
The staff is nice and are experienced with between five to eight years of teaching experience. However, because of the student cohort they have, many received low marks on the State testing component and reduced their overall grade. Not a happy group.
The school runs a late schedule 8:30-3:15 and parking is difficult and next to impossible on Mondays and Tuesdays. Subways are a good distance from the campus and in bad weather is a chore.
I have not changed my opinion of this school since I last was there. No way would I want a position there.