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Re: Inner city school problems

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Holly112_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 22:45:53 PDT


Its probably of no value to say I feel for you. I can identify better than
most, as I'm in a difficult situation myself, though not nearly as bad as
yours. I have psycho, nut job, kids like the door kicker you describe, only
I have 12 of them together, which is like spending 45 minutes in a mental
institution every day. They are on the edge of violence all the time. They
wear their outrageous, raucous, loud and disruptive behavior like a badge.
Once they settle down, they actually do well in Art class. I stay pretty
calm and actually like them sometimes, which I think they sense. Not that it
always works. Then its next to impossible to get them to stop working and
clean up. They throw supplies and fight all the time. I have found that
calling home helps a little, and we have a sp.ed. administrator who tries to
help. At times I take away the priviledge of coming to my Art room, and I go
to their classroom to teach them. It doesn't help much, but its what I do...

My regular ed classes are breaking brand new supplies, stealing Sharpies, and
drawing cartoonish genitals in permanent marker and glue sticks on the seats
of the chairs. THey had been doing well for awhile and now are reverting to
the rude, obnoxious behavior I first encountered my 1st weeks at this school.
(I'm new there) I haven't caught the culprits so I am taking away working
on their projects. Tomorrow they will learn from a text book and answer Art
questions from the chapter in their sketchbooks for a grade. They will also
get a lecture about their lack of respect from me. (The worst punishment!)
Anyone not on task will get points taken off their grade and I will sit
diligently and feverishly documenting everything! I may do this til the end
of the marking period if I have to. I am not putting up with this sh*t,
pardon my *. The sad thing is that are some very good, well behaved students
who have to suffer along. But if I can't catch the sneaks, what can I do? I
too use collateral, sign out for Sharpies, etc. The theives and sneaks can
act in a millisecond, and no one sees a thing, including me, and I think I'm
on the ball.

The only thing that keeps me there (beside the paycheck and benefits) is my
bosses are great, (so far) very funny and grateful for my efforts.

Good luck. I'm pulling for you. If you can't find anything redeeming, keep
looking for a better situation. Everyone tells me that if you are consistent
and firm, you will get a reputation and it will get better.

Holly :0)