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Re: I need to VENT/Intercity teaching....WHAT TO DO?


Date: Wed Feb 14 2001 - 13:58:41 PST


If I saw the true classroom I was getting into ahead of time, I would
have said, "I can't, won't, don't want to..." But now I am in such a
battleground school and it is very hard, but I can, I will and I want
to. It probably does take about 5 years to become a good teacher in
such situations, and I am only in year two. Most teacher education
schools place student teachers with successful classrooms and good
teachers. Should we do otherwise? What does it benefit a student
teacher to be placed with a struggling teacher in an inner city
(urban) classroom where behavior management is the first order of
business? I think the answer is real mentors, not just in name only,
and supervisors who give support and help out with discipline in a
friendly and nonjudgemental way. Today I had a girl cut the hair of
the boy beside her. He is known for being out of control. He jumped
up and threatened to cut her hair. I got between the two (I am 4' 10"
tall) and forced him back, out of the room and called for security,
all the time asking him to give me the scissors (he would not). He
tried to push me out of the way to get at the girl. I called security
even louder. They came and got the boy; took the scissors. Yes, I
could have been stabbed or otherwise hurt. What choice did I have? It
is on my head if the kids get hurt. What if he had attacked her? What
if other kids had jumped in the fight, as they normally do in my
school? I wrote up the incident, sat the girl down and skipped my
lunch to talk to her about provocation. How her role was actually
more serious than his. I asked her to write up what happened. She
wrote "the scissors zoomed around his head and accidentally got into
his hair." I asked her to demonstrate on my hair how scissors
could "zoom" of their own accord and cut hair without any human aid.
When she admitted that this couldn't happen, I asked her to re-write
the description. Without further prompting she wrote the truth, plus
an apology. However, I have to meet with both sets of parents during
my prep period tomorrow. I have 32 children in this class and more
than half are behavior problems. Severe behavior problems. It is very
interesting (in the Chinese sense of interesting) to teach art in
this environment.