Considering Teaching Troubled Youth/Adolescents

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teacher234, Dec 1, 2018.

?

Should this be considered?

Poll closed Wednesday at 10:39 PM.
  1. Yes

    25.0%
  2. No

    50.0%
  3. Tomato

    25.0%
  1. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Comrade

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    Dec 1, 2018

    Hello.
    I am currently teaching elementary special education (self-contained setting). Have recently taught Regents LE in an inclusion summer school class. Throughout my teaching career, have taught high school English, middle school, and gen ed elementary.
    I am wondering if it would be realistic for me to teach troubled youth in possibly a prison/detention center setting. How would this work? Is it like the format of a behavioral-centered classroom or regular classroom? Is it similar to what I teach currently? Is it even something to consider?
     
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  3. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Comrade

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    Dec 2, 2018

    I am just wondering about this possible teaching position. would like some information, if at all possible. In addition, opinions about this consideration would be highly appreciated.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 4, 2018

    Here are the differences from a regular school setting:
    - you will have all grade levels in one class. They're not separated by what subjects they need or grade level, they're separated into pods, and each pod with have 1 classroom. Sometimes they're in dorms, same thing. The grouping of kids most of the time focus on gang affiliation, crime committed (short term / long term stay, etc).
    - It's year round, and you will have a high turn over.In juvenile hall, you can have a lot of kids there for a week, or even less, up to a year, in other settings it might be longer term, but still more turnover than regular school. Short 1-2 day lessons are best.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Dec 4, 2018

    I know a few people who have taught in non-traditional settings. One taught in a prison for adults, one taught in a juvenile detention center, and a few taught in day-treatment programs or "camps" for troubled youth.

    They all really liked their jobs. There was a lot of turnover, but they found the adults and older teens were more willing participants in their education because a lot of them were there by choice, not by mandate. The younger teens sometimes were still resistant to education. The plus side was that they did not have to put up with misbehavior because they were removed if they acted a fool.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 4, 2018

    Linguist92021 has walked the walk, by the way: you might want to have a look at her posts from a couple of years ago.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 4, 2018

    Yes, I subbed and long term subbed in juvenile halls and long term detention camps (in the summer I still sub there as a teacher). I used to come here to ask for advice but also to vent; lots of interesting and even funny stories.

    Here are the negatives, based on the different locations I've been in.
    1. you are at the whim of the officers. If they bring your class 20 minutes late to class, oh well, there's nothing you can do. This can happen for problems among the students (fights, having to search them, etc, but even small things such as too many officers are absent, small issues with shift changes, etc.) If there is a fight in the classroom, students are taken out, and class is canceled. For someone like me, who likes to have a tight schedule, teach bell to bell, and be on the same page with all my classes, this was very hard to get used to.
    2. you will have a huge variation of abilities, grade levels and skill levels and you have to try to reach all students, but you won't be able to. You just do the best.
    3. Lots of mind games, students are great at it. I actually enjoyed it, because it was intriguing but it took me a year to catch on. It is actually disturbing that these youngsters already have this prison-mentality, sort of grooming themselves for prison-life.

    It takes a certain type of person to work in this environment, just like it takes a certain type of person to work with special needs students, or elementary or high school, etc. It's not for everyone.
    You have to be able to separate the crime from the student. You will most likely not even know what crimes those students committed, because it's none of your business. You're there to educate them, nothing else. But some of these kids might have murdered someone, beat a homeless man to death, raped women, pimped young girls out, molested children, etc. These are the more serious crimes, but these students will be in the same classroom with those who "simply" stole a car or got a probation violation for hanging out with other gang members, etc. So you have to be able to treat each kid the same knowing that some of them might be very dangerous and / or have committed horrible acts. i was able to ignore it.
     
  8. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Comrade

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    Dec 5, 2018

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to my message. While I consider myself versatile as a teacher and experienced, teaching in a prison-like setting just seems like it would not be for me. I do thank you all for informing me of the issues with the setting. I am really enjoying my special class and would like to stay in the position for many more years.
     
  9. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Comrade

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    Dec 5, 2018

    I am able to disregard disabilities and differences (to an extend). I hope I do not sound close-minded, however, based on what I have read.....teaching in a prison-like setting would not be comfortable for me.
     
  10. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Comrade

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    Dec 5, 2018

    I guess, in a sense, that solves the behavioral aspect of teaching. I do feel that this is the only positive.
    I would not want my behavioral management skills to go to waste.
     

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