Tell me about the non-poor/urbanish schools.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Jun 8, 2018

    Got a job offer today. It's one I'm quite excited about. Not my dream grade level, but not one I'm opposed to, either. I really liked the team I interviewed with, the commute isn't bad, and it's in a community I love.

    It's also not what I'm used to. Very middle-class, somewhat rural, apparently a community that REALLY likes to be involved with school.

    My SiL tells me all the trials of her rich school, so I know they exist. I'm just wondering what I should expect.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 8, 2018

    Your description sounds a lot like my school. We have some rich kids, but we also have our share of poverty kids. We are 36% free/reduced lunch. Our community is extremely involved in the school, but they let teachers do their jobs. I came from only working 99% free/reduced lunch schools, so it was a bit of adjustment my first year.

    I have more parent involvement and more backing from my parents in general. The kids (5th graders) still want to please, and I deal with far less attitude and extremely disruptive behavior. I do still have some behavior, but usually talking is the worst of it.
     
  4. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I worked at a private school with a similar feel. I taught high school, which was probably a little different. Students felt very entitled to everything, which was difficult to deal with at times. Sadly, the other main issue we had was racism/predjudice held by both the parents and the students. Parental involvement (and parental entitlement!) may be an issue too.
     
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  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I’ve also experienced students who act so entitled and do not appreciate the opportunities they let slip which is very frustrating. Some (not the majority thank goodness) parents are also very difficult to deal with because they think we should be able to “fix” their kid in the few hours we see them in a day or that if there’s a problem, it’s our fault e.g. the lesson isn’t fun enough so the kid is distracted, the other kid was talking to their kid first so it’s not their kids fault, the kid doesn’t like writing at all so I should come up with an alternative assessment etc.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 9, 2018

    Every demographic everywhere has its rewards and challenges.

    I work in a high achieving, high SES suburban district. Parents are very involved and supportive. Sure, there are some parents who try to push their own agenda, but if you are professional, know what you are doing, and have admin support, it’s not that big an issue. Annoying like mosquitoes but everyone’s got their number. Kids are kids-reach them, teach them, engage with them.
     
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  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I have more behavior challenges with students from low-income families. I have more parental problems with parents from high-income families. Most of the parents are fine or even awesome. But when a high-income parent doesn't get his/her way, they get very loud, very quickly.

    Right now I have seven email conversations going with parents of students that are one point away from getting the next highest letter grade. They won't get their way and I suspect come Monday they will start emailing the principal.

    These are the challenging trends I've noticed with suburban students/parents:

    • Kids are NOT allowed to be average. If a child has an average IQ and thereby produces average work, it MUST mean he has a learning disability. Wealthy parents know how to work the system and can buy accommodations for their kids. Our school has more 504s than all of the other high schools in the district COMBINED. Also, we write more 504s in sophomore year than any other grade. So students have a better shot at getting extra time on SATs and ACTs.
    • All kids are honors-level students. See above. This is simply a form of segregation. Honors classes are better behaved, and some parents naturally want their kids in the better-behaved classrooms. Some want their kids with "like" kids.
    • Kids must be braggable. Not only must they get straight A's, they must also participate in sports. And be good enough to start on a regular basis. Other extracurriculars are not as appreciated (like visual arts, drama, science competitions) because there aren't crowds admiring the child's awesomeness.
    • Middle school kids that are compliant get A's. Parents expect that trend to continue into high school. I'd say that 90% of our white, high-socioeconomic kids were straight-A students in middle school. Parents have a REALLY hard time accepting that first B.
    • Students are entitled. If they do not understand something right away, it is the teacher's fault. If they forgot to turn in an assignment, it was because the teacher did not send a Remind text soon enough. If they cheated on an assignment, it was because they have too many classes/practice.
    • speaking of, students CHEAT. The worst cheaters are the honors and AP students. Students from lower economic backgrounds rarely cheat. Parents will fight tooth and nail when their kids get caught cheating. I had a parent start a lawsuit against the district because I personally refused to change the wording in a referral I wrote about her son. The suit was dropped before I was officially notified, because it would have been bad press for the father's business.
    • Teachers are less respected. Parents equate worth and importance with salaries. Teachers are service-industry workers. Never once have I heard a "poorer" parent say "I pay your salary!" Several rich parents have. Rich students will sometimes threaten "I'm going to tell my mother," even in high school. They are shocked when I say I am not concerned about their mothers' opinions on the matter. For some reason kids and parents alike think they can tell teachers how to run their classrooms.
    • Drugs are a huge problem. HUGE.
    • Family vacations occur during off-peak times. Parents expect teachers to prepare work ahead of time (never comes back completed) and provide one-on-one tutoring upon return so the student can get caught up.
    • Attendance issues are just as bad for wealthier students as they are for the poorest students. Partly because of the vacations and partly because these kids get their own cars as soon as they turn 16 and can skip. Parents will write notes for skipping so their children do not face consequences.
    • Admin support is much weaker in schools like this.

    Again, most of the parents are not problems. Most of the kids are well-behaved. I prefer teaching at my current school versus the urban school I used to teach in. It is easier in a lot of ways. The challenges are just different.
     
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  8. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jun 10, 2018

    I once worked in an ultra-high SES district and absolutely I loved working with the students and their parents. It was the unrealistic expectations of the superintendent that were most challenging for me. I think many superintendents in exclusive districts are under a tremendous amount of self-imposed stress as they attempt to constantly impress Board members.
     
  9. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Habitué

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    Jun 11, 2018

    I subbed in a suburban school and I loved it. The behavior problems were minimal (even as a sub.) To be honest, the worst behaviors that I encountered there are a sub were regular behaviors in my student teaching placement in an urban school. I obviously don't know about working with parents, but I would imagine that most are supportive and some are very diffficult to work with.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2018

    In my experience, schools are schools. Every school will have its challenges, and every school has rewards. Truthfully, I think it all comes down to administration, not the SES demographics or anything like that. The exact same school can change over time, all because the principal and leadership style changes, not because of the parents and students.

    If you got a good gut feeling about the job, I'd take it.
     

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