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[teacherartexchange] student teachers

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From: Jean Womack (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 13 2006 - 20:45:04 PST


You ought to check whether it is safe for your student teacher to teach, or
are you just feeding meat to the wolves.

When I started teaching in this district, (West Contra Costa Unified in
Richmond, CA) back in 2000, I was a sub. I went to a local high school. It
is a building built without windows to the outside because of riots here in
the 1960's. They started flipping the light switch in my second class.
(The district could prevent this by removing the light switches, but they do
this purposely to torment the subs.) There were no lesson plans. Finally
the students showed me where the lesson plans were. I didn't understand the
English teacher's lesson plan instruction to let them practice their dialog
(let them sit and talk to each other.) I decided to give them an art lesson
on negative space. Someone had told me that I could teach anything I wanted
to. (That's not true, don't do it.) Draw the space around the chair. The
last class lured me into the middle of the room and then some of them went
over to the light switch and turned off the lights. The rest of them threw
things around the room and one of them shoved a book into my chest (I had
had a mastectomy on that breast.). I called the security and she sat there
with me the rest of the class.

At an elementary school, I went out on the yard to help a little girl find
her jacket. A fifth grader kicked a kickball at my head at close range and
one kid yelled "Teacher!" and I turned around and got it right between my
eyes. It dented my glasses. My husband just laughed about it. The people
from my church in the book group I was in just laughed about it. No one
expressed any concern or compassion for me. I wonder what they are planning
for me now that I will be a tutor in my own home. My husband said he used
to torment subs, but he didn't treat them any worse than he did the regular
teachers.

I still do not know what I did to make people treat me so badly. Just being
alive, I guess. Maybe they don't like the color of my skin or the fact that
one of my legs is shorter than the other.

Jean Womack

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