So bummed...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by hac711, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    Oct 12, 2010

    So I started the year subbing, and ended up with a perm. job teaching home ec (when I said yes to it, they said science, boy was I shocked when I walked into home ec!) So the school is in the ghetto, I have kids on drugs, throwing things, stealing my sticky notes (really?really?) tell me to f off, etc etc etc. I have brought them from a horrible 10 to about a 6. I know how to deal with them, but at times I feel like like oh my goodness, these kids are horrible human beings. They make fun of different cultures and retarded students. They say horrible things and do horrible things (one student stabbed another student in the cheek with the my pen that he stole when I put it down for a minute). I know they are angry, resentful, untrusting etc. I know this, but at times, I think, I am not being paid enough to deal with it. I look at it as they are not my kids, I do not care. I keep getting all the riffraff that can't manage regular classes and have to take a "fluff" course. I am dragging myself to work. I find myself not caring at all. I had a parent call me (in my room) and ask me when school was over. I said 3. She then started yelling at me if school got out at 3, how come her son wasn't getting home until 6?? I was like that is not my problem. I was not raised in this manner and have just gotten to a point trying to be thankful to have a job, but just ready to say goodbye. It is sad when I am happy when kids fall asleep in class instead of throwing scissors at the wall, me and other students. Student support does nothing.
     
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  3. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Oct 12, 2010

    Can you call in the National Guard ?? Just kidding -- I don't know what to tell you. I do know that if you have no support, you may be fighting a losing battle. You will have to decide if it is worth your physical and mental health to try to stick it out -- is it worth it, etc. I didn't know Home Ec was even around anymore. What does the principal have to say about it? :confused:
     
  4. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Oct 15, 2010

    I have the same problem with misbehaving kids, though it's mainly in the afternoon. Sometimes I've lost my temper and that's quieted them down for 10 mins or so, but then the noise levels go up again.
    Other teachers feel sorry for me and tell me to hang in there, but other than that I have no support either. There are good kids who want to learn. That's what keeps me coming back -- for now.
     
  5. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    Oct 15, 2010

    Wow, sorry to hear that.

    Don't they expel violent kids or at least send them to some sort of prisonish-school?

    Seriously, throwing scissors? There should be no second chance on something that barbaric, that could literally blind or kill someone...

    I hope you are all right. If it's that toxic...maybe you should consider leaving -- well within your rights if violence goes unchecked.
     
  6. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Oh wow. I don't have any advice but just wanted to give you a hug<give hug>.
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Wow, that's a rough bunch of kids. So there are no consequences for these students as far as admin is concerned? I'm a FACS (aka home ec) teacher and if any student used the knives or scissors violently they would not be allowed back in our classrooms. I know the frustration of students ending up in your class because they couldn't handle something else (with me it tends to be a transfer from a foreign language class). But then they come to me and lo and behold they still have to read and write and do work and are annoyed that high school FACS is definitely not "fluff."

    Personally I could not work in a school where a student can stab another student or throw scissors at each other in the classroom and have no consequence for it.

    I'm guessing you're not certified in FACS since you didn't know that's what you would be teaching. If I were you, I'd take the FACS Praxis and get out of there and find a more reasonable school. It doesn't sound as if you are safe where you are. FACS jobs are one of the few where the job market is not tight so if you like the subject, it's a great path to take.

    By the way, I don't think I have ever before given the advice to leave a job on here, I am just concerned about your safety since from what you say admin does nothing about the horribly inappropriate behavior of the students.
     
  8. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Nope. It depends on where you work. The really nice schools, where there is a lot of parent support, good test scores, great home lives, kids are involved in activites... yes, they do. Because the parent of the child that got hurt would be calling up the school in a heartbeat and threatening to go to the superintendent. Parents at our schools don't know how to work the educational system to get what they want, and some things go on that wouldn't in another school.

    T1 schools, schools in bad neighborhoods, kids that have grown up in crime, frequent abuse, poverty, etc.... no, they don't go to another setting.

    And yes, people that work at these types of schools probably should get paid more, but they don't. We can't even begin to teach until we deal with whatever it is that is going on in their lives. I feel like I spend a good part of my day being a social worker instead of a teacher. Sometimes you will feel soooo out of control, but then that day when you realize that you have gotten through to even one of those kids... those days are amazing :) Those days make you realize you could never work at another type of school.

    And don't get me wrong, I understand that every school comes with it's own unique challenges. But I could never work at an all-white, middle/ upper class school. I know that what I do every day would not effect them as much as I effect my students. I know that what I am doing everyday might save them from being in juvie or prison. I know that what I am doing might save them from getting pregnant at 14 like their mother. That makes it worth it :)

    If you are having serious doubts, there is a chance that maybe this type of school is not for you... and that's okay too! It's not for everyone. You need to find your best-fit school!
     
  9. Dedicated

    Dedicated Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Are you teaching Middle School kids? What are your facilities like? I taught FCS at an inner city school for two years before moving to the high school in the same district. The middle school had no classroom and the kids could only do book and paper work not the fun hands on stuff. That was a really low point for me- the kids were awful. I now have a fairly well equipped classroom, the kids (for the most part-they are still inner city after all) are more mature and reasonable at this stage. My school life has improved dramatically. I would say my biggest hurdle teaching inner city kids was dealing with their personalities because I am from a very suburban upbringing and would never ever talk to or treat teachers the way I am treated. I worked on becoming very zen in my approach to them. Yelling or getting angry does not work. Only a very flat aspect when telling them what they are doing is not acceptable. Then follow a set procedure in dealing with their behaviors. Never say much in front of the others, it just fuels the behavior. When they talk back, repeat your message. Don't engage in an argument. Then drop it. You'll have to come up with a consequence that you can stick to. Start positive and fresh every day as if you are expecting great things from them. Make it a point to say positive things to even the worst kids (carefully you want to sound sincere). Also, follow a set classroom routine everyday, make the work easy enough(most don't have much prior knowledge) so they feel successful, but since you'll have students of different levels, you have to accommodate the higher learners as well. It ain't easy! You have to have a tough skin and overlook a lot! But, there are many kids worth teaching and some days I leave school feeling great. I am still trying to get it down. Good luck to you.
     
  10. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Oct 16, 2010

    Whoa! I hope things do get better.
    Hang in there and ask God for help. It won't hurt to go to the... MAIN MAN WITH THE PLAN!:angel:
    It can happen,
    Rebel1
     
  11. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Oct 16, 2010

    hac711 - I'm afraid that's the norm when you're in an urban setting, and this is 21 years of experience in that setting talking. I'm also sorry to tell you that it probably isn't going to get any better, only worse in the coming years. In that environment, administrators are looking out for themselves, parents are looking out for themselves, and your colleagues are looking out for themselves.

    It's been very difficult in your state and mine, which borders it, to find a position in a decent district, so we're stuck with the leftovers.

    One LARGE positive in your post that I saw was the fact that you feel you've brought them down from a 10 to a 6 on the "horrible" scale. That's QUITE an accomplishment, really!

    If you're looking for some heart-warming experience that gives you a sense of fulfillment, you're not going to find it where you are now or any similar circumstance.

    If you can afford to, perhaps you could substitute in a better district long enough for them to get to know you. That way, when a permanent, full-time position opens up, you would be at the front of the list for interviews.

    I wish I could offer you a more positive overview (the colleges just aren't preparing the new graduates for the realities they'll face). I want to emphasize that I'm not trying to be mean or depressing, like I said, I'm just trying to pass along the benefit of my 21 years experience.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oct 16, 2010

    The whole disrespect thing with many of these students is ridiculous. But very real. For some reason they have it in their heads that they are owed all the respect in the world simply because they exist yet do not realize that they have to show it as well. Being an educated, world-traveling, suburban white woman is an obstacle sometimes. The need for some of these students to save face is crazy. Even being told to put away a magazine during a lesson can set someone off.

    The advice to pull a student aside and gently explain what is wrong with their behavior is a good one. But frankly, sometimes I am too exhausted to walk on eggshells. I don't feel it is fair to my well-behaving students for them to lose instructional time because I have to tiptoe around someone else's ridiculous attitude. On days that I'm not willing to kiss their butts in order for them to act like humans I realize that I will probably lose one or two. They'll end up smarting off at me one too many times and I'll ask them to visit an administrator.

    One thing I do in class is remind them all together that they are being rude and disrespectful. Can't 'dis' the teacher, after all. They may not like the rude part, but they understand the disrespectful.

    When I do have someone leave the room, either because they were asked or because they stomped out on their own, I always welcome them back the next day. And we have a little discussion out in the hallway. They always act remorseful and are usually good for a couple of days. But slowly the attitude comes back. These kids need to understand that we are on their side. But they also need to understand that WE deserve respect too and that they are not the only ones in the classrooms that are important.
     
  13. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Oct 16, 2010

    I'm not totally experienced, but it's been my general experience that these kind of situations are school specific. There's a lot you can try to do to make the situation better, but without admin support, there will be limitations. (At least, there were for me. Possibly, someone else was able to break through, but without admin support, there is only so far I am able to go.)

    I agree with the posters who suggested keeping an eye out for another school that might have better support. I turned down a job offer with a much better school because I had already accepted the position with my current school and am regretting it. I'm not saying leave mid year, but keeping an eye out for next year couldn't hurt.
     
  14. iteach2inspire

    iteach2inspire Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2010

    It's true that the education courses and preparation don't teach us how to deal with situations such as this one. I am going to be student teaching (hopefully) in January and I always wonder what if I am in a scenario like this? What in the world do I do?!! I don't really know what to say and I'm not going to give you some textbook version of what you should do (I feel that sometimes textbook solutions don't deal with the reality of things). I'm just going to say this: look out for your safety please! I can't believe they are throwing scissors at you! Any teachers you can go to about this problem and maybe act as support?

    On the bright side, in reference to your comment about bringing them from a 10 to a 6... that's huge considering the circumstance you are in. I commend you for that!

    I have a question for the other posters... those who responded that they have been in a similar position, what did you guys do to control your classroom? What did you guys find worked best and didn't work at all? Maybe responses to these questions can help her and me in the future! Please respond back!
     

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