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Old 08-23-2013, 06:14 AM
1cubsfan 1cubsfan is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 118
High School Teacher
PTSD from teaching


Interesting article. Her situation sounds extreme. I have been in "intercity" schools before, and none seemed like this. I believe it happens though!
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:08 PM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,572
Central Valley of California
High School English (Alt. Ed.)
I can totally believe it. Our students are about the same, but it's not hard for us like that. We have an amazing principal, counselor and school psychologist. We have amazing teachers who are always willing to listen and collaborate. We have probation to back us up and work with us. (even though we're really not supposed to rely on them at all). Our district office is not in denial, because they know we work with pretty much the worst students, the ones this lady described in her article. The student who called her a name would be expelled and sent to us.

This is a good example how much difference a supportive administration and staff makes. (she didn't have that).
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:36 PM
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pwhatley pwhatley is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,282
3rd Grade Teacher
I believe it. Completely. I've been there - only with 1st graders calling me filthy names, biting, kicking, hitting, stealing, etc. I've seen 20 year old parents of 7 year olds fighting in the parking lot, had my car keyed (or penned, or whatever), had kids jerked out of my class one week by a parent (to be taken to another school), only to return 2 weeks later. I've had a class of 26 first graders in which only 1 brought supplies. I've been blamed for an E.D. kiddo throwing desks every other day (another student thought it was funny to set the E.D. kid off). I've had my hair fall out, my skin break out, my blood pressure skyrocket, and my back seize up. That was at my "first" school - inner city super low-income, academically unacceptable with generational expectations of "gimme" with no accountability.

Then I moved to my current school. It is also an inner city super low-income elementary - and we were just deemed AU (by three points). It is nothing like the first school. Our kids have challenges, yes - half of my kids have parents in jail. Some never bring supplies. But we hold them to a higher standard. They are accountable for their actions. We work our tails off, and so do they. We will be out of AU status this year, I have no doubt. (Our path to AU is a long and crooked story.) I have changed grades, so I'm facing some new (mostly curricular) challenges - my third grade friends are NOT ready for CCSS, and ESPECIALLY not ready for the crazy pacing guide set forth by the math department at the central office. But I have a supportive administration, parents/grandparents/guardians who care about their students' behavior AND academic progress, and students I love. They aren't perfect, but then neither am I. Instead of working against each other, though, we are working together, and it is HEAVENLY.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
― Dr. Seuss
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:15 PM
kellzy kellzy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 187
3rd Grade Teacher
I have PTSD from an event during my college years, and I can be perfectly honest when I say there are a lot of triggers working with inner city children.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:40 PM
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yellowdaisies yellowdaisies is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,165
Northern CA
5th grade teacher
Originally Posted by Linguist92021 View Post
This is a good example how much difference a supportive administration and staff makes. (she didn't have that).
This is exactly what I was thinking as I read that article.

This article made me so sad. Sad for her because she just wanted to make a difference and almost destroyed her health doing it. Sad for the students because that is NORMAL to them and they are in a school that won't hold them accountable to meet high expectations.

She's out, and good for her, but I wonder what the solution is for all those teachers and kids sill trapped in that poisonous environment.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:02 AM
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microbe microbe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 261
1st Grade ESL
I've subbed in schools like the one the author mentioned. It kind of seems that the administration cares even less how the students treat subs in some of these schools. I mentioned this a long time ago, but I actually had a high-school student backhand me in the hallway. Never went to that school again and I imagine they always have trouble finding subs.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:28 AM
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kpa1b2 kpa1b2 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,223
I worked in a rough school. Kids out of control, sometimes a lack of administration support. It was the teacher's fault if a child didn't progress. I was having health challenges. My neurologist suggested that I leave teaching. I found a new school and many of those problems are gone or at least at a manageable level.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:26 AM
waterfall waterfall is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,797
Western USA
K-3 Sped Resource Teacher
I believe it! I had a lot of health problems after just one year in my inner city school last year. Honestly, it was all about administration. Yes, the kids were tough, but what made them impossible was the fact that we weren't allowed to do anything about their behavior. The ONLY consequence we were allowed to give any student was to call their parent, no matter the behavior. Calling the parent only works if a)the parent agrees the behavior is unacceptable, and b)actually does something about it at home. I had a student who would literally scream at the top of her lungs for hours on end, go tip other students desks over, repeatedly throw things against the wall, take other students' things and throw them around, and occasionally even hit, bit, and/or kicked other kids. Her IEP stated that she was supposed to be given 3 strikes until a parent phone call and then in another 3 strikes she'd be removed from the room. I ended up having to go through this behavior plan within the 3rd day of school, and my principal was absolutely livid that I'd called her in to take the student. When I explained it was her IEP behavior plan, she told me to ask the sped teacher to rewrite it because students will not be removed from rooms. So I was expected to teach with all of this going on. Admin said behavior was always a teacher problem, no matter how serious it was. Honestly, it sounds like the teacher in the article had more support with behavior than I did.

Our admins were also completely clueless about the population- they'd both come from wealthy, mostly all white schools. Our population was over 90% ELL and they didn't want us to directly teach vocabulary! They also did walkthroughs and based "engagement" (their big goal) literally on how "happy" the kids looked and if they looked like they were having fun. Walkthroughs and evaluations were used as tools to get back at people who asked questions in meetings or otherwise spoke up at all. At one point my P even got my lesson plans off of my computer, planted them in a common file, and accused my teammate of stealing them in her evaluation. People who haven't been in a school like this just really don't understand the mental/emotional toll it takes.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:03 PM
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Pencil Monkey Pencil Monkey is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,174
Georgia USA
I believe it....I've been at a rough school like that.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:18 PM
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schoolteacher schoolteacher is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 771
Elementary School Teacher
Originally Posted by waterfall View Post
Honestly, it sounds like the teacher in the article had more support with behavior than I did.
I had the same impression. That student was suspended for two days for cursing at her teacher. At our school, that student would not even be seen or spoken to by an administrator.
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ptsd, teaching

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