An Interactive Twilight Experience.
Everyone who knows me knows I'm a teacher by trade though I've held many a job lately. Because the school systems are what they are, my field of study (Social Studies: History, Government, Economics, etc.) is saturated and as a result, I've had to substitute teach if I want to teach. I substitute for all sorts of classes and subjects and some of my favorites though I have no talent for it is Science and Math Classes. I have taught all grades K-12 but usually I prefer the older ones. Little ones can be little Tasmanian devils as they should be at 5-7 years old. Not to mention all the extra stuff that comes with it: the tattling, the crying, the accidents, etc.
However, I feel like I'm way too old fashioned at my age (39) and out of step. I started teaching in the City Schools along with the County Schools. The difference between the student populations are staggering. The City Schools have 16 buildings: 3 Middle, 1 High, 12 Elementary. There is income inequality, high crime areas, a severe education gap, and little to no administrator support. Most of the county districts have one or two of each school.
Discipline within the schools are also staggering. In the County schools, misbehavior in the classroom results in lunch or recess detention. Disrespectful actions toward the teacher, administrator, or another student results in being put in In School Suspension, being sent home and suspended. They take their steps seriously. When a substitute is in a room, if you misbehave you get double the punishment from the administration. Why? Subs are doing them a favor and are visiting their school. To show poor discipline is not setting a good example for the school. Upset the teacher enough, he/she won't come back and that district is down one teacher.
In the City, the students rule the roost. They get away with bad behavior. Sending students to the office results in those students being sent back to class to "try again to get it right." While I'm all for giving second chances, by the time the child gets to the office level all their chances to improve have died off. I don't want a student in my class that disturbs classmates and the teacher, refuses to follow directions, shows abject disrespect to the class and teacher, and ignores all discipline actions (move you card, pin, bus...lunch det. no recess). I have decided after 2 hellacious days of teaching 3rd grade students, I would ignore any requests to return. I told the principal that I would not returning to that class. I have never been cussed at by an 8 year old for simply doing my job, and actually, I haven't ever been cussed at like I have today. This class was notorious for being awful by every teacher and tutor and administrator around me. In fact, several teachers and administrators, and even social workers popped in to check on them. In my day, If I acted like that, my parents would have spanked me in front of the class and sat with me the whole time. In my day, the role of adult and child was clear. Not now. I'm frustrated and exhausted from raising my voice. I think I've spent more time writing reports and referrals than anything else. I've stopped and started lessons too many times to count. I'm weary and totally second guessing my decision to take jobs in the City.