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Year 4- You can’t leave them for one minute…

by admin on April 16th, 2007

I was not here Friday. I had a sub. There was a problem with her. You can take this as advice for substitute teachers, or just advice in general; It’s not wise to upset the people you’re working with. It’s even more unwise when you hardly know them.

My substitue teacher had conflicts all day with my kids. She called them “pitiful”. Needless to say, they were NOT fond of being called that by a lady they hardly knew. She told them ah felt sorry for them for ending up at a school like this, and her kids would never end up here. YIKES. Again, she had a tough day. The kids either refused to be in the class with her, or refused to work for her.

The note she left me said, “As you probably expected, your classes were quite “challenging”, and disrespectful.”

Honestly, I didn’t expect that.

If you’ve never taught at, or been to a continuation school…it’s a different world. One few people can handle. It’s funny how a school like this eats up teachers. I’ve had many teacher who can not handle these kids. My 6th period class, who was “pitiful” in the eyes of this lady happens to be my favorite class. They are kind, polite, and every day we engage in good discussion about the chapter we’re on. We laugh…and have a really good time. Pitiful was not a word I would use to describe them.

The kids here are used to being treated poorly in nearly all areas of their lives…here, they are finally finding a degree of worth…and when someone threatens them…they take it REALLY personally. They’re very good at conflict…and when they’ see a chance to be involved in a conflict they jump. This lady opened up the door.

Sometimes the kids act pitiful, for sure…but I don’t ever tell them that in a way that lessens their self-worth. You’ve got to create trust, then you can criticize in a way that makes them see the issue and correct it.

If I walked into a classroom anywhere in the planet, and told the kids they were in essence, stupid…I expect I would find a fight on my hands.

The note while I found it disturbing, I also like seeing notes like that. It makes me feel good. I know I have a hard job. I also know there are very few people who could do my job with the same level of success I have had.

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