SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The Frustrated Substitute Teacher

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Frustrated Substitute Teacher

My friend The Frustrated Teacher wrote a quite funny, yet sad, post on Facebook the other night about a foray of his into substitute teaching. It really hits home at what is happening to our society and to our educational values.

 With his permission, I am sharing it here.

Putting the 28 most dysfunctional kids in the same split 4th/5th class is a bad idea.

Today's experience marks the first time I have left a classroom because I couldn't handle the kids. Admittedly, they were running around with scissors threatening to kill each other, and there were 2 fistfights in the room, and 2 kids called their moms on banned cell phones, who then showed up at the door demanding I release their kids, or else....

Split the kids up. Move them to other rooms. Stop giving them boring worksheets (which were my sub plans for the day, and obviously what goes on most days, as the regular teacher can't handle them either, I hear). Stop coming in the class, Principal and her henchmen to tell them it's the African American kids who are shaming the AA adults, and that's why they should behave.

Clean the room; I saw a custodian.

When a parent shows up to pick up their kid, who called them from a phone they weren't supposed to have, only to complain that the sub is trying to teach and in the process asked for quiet, which was apparently offensive, mom, send that parent back home without the kid. Or demand that the parent take the phone from the kid, then leave. But don't support this ridiculous, anti-teacher, anti-school behavior from parents.

When the teacher called my mom it was because I was in trouble. If I called my mom it was because I was hurt. Nowadays, kids call their moms from smuggled cell phones, make shit up about the teacher to get mom to come, and the 'bad teacher' meme gets perpetuated, erroneously. The parent/school partnership does not mean that stupidity or bad parenting gets respect. That's just stupid.

If we are going to attempt to solve poverty inside schools --which seems to be the idea, lately-- then schools can't pander to horrible parents.

The cycle of generational poverty was on display inside that room today.

Surely it was all my fault. I mean, I was the teacher.

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