Well I gotta say today was great. Probably the best day yet. I began using a simple class conduct chart on the calk board, smiley faces, question marks, and x's. Te children really took to this and I really never even explained it to them. Guess I'm gonna have to come up with a lot of fun Friday activities if they keep it up.
One thing that is not so good though is that another teacher is not having a good time of it. Adimin. told her to figure things out on her own, that she shouldn't have experienced teachers helping her get control in her classroom. I guess they want her to earn respect from the kids but our children will do everything in their power to drive their teachers crazy. If she needs help the admin. should be willing to give it to her. They did hire her and the rest of us. I wish there was some advice I could give her but I can't really seem to figure out what to tell her to do. I think there are too many people trying to give her advice now!?! I'm not sure but I think letting new teachers get to their breaking point in the first few days of school is what makes them quit within the first 3 years.
This brings me to the thought of the new teacher initiative. The districts, powers that be, are monitoring all of us 'seasoned' teachers, and if we 'fail' they threaten to fire us. But what is their genius plan? To replace us with NEW teachers. Well I'm sorry to say but if you fill an inner city school with NEW teachers the freakin walls would fall down. One problem with this is, like I've said before, I chose to work in a school where sixth graders come to us from the 4th grade!! So any gain is good gain, to me anyway!! this year the majority of them did not know their multiplication, NOW they are converting fractions to decimals, and decimals to percents by hand!! We are still working on simplifying fractions but they'll get it eventually.
Isn't that crazy that the 50% of teachers quit within the first 3 years?!?!?! Wouldn't it make more sense for the district to survey new teachers who choose to teach here and find out what they need? Rather than driving them to quit with all the new initiatives, stress, and lack of help from administrators. The initiatives and push for test scores is enough to drive a veteran teacher crazy. I was lucky to come in when we had 2 assistant principals and a tone of 'extra' people (for lack of a better term) to help with behavior problems. Now all of a sudden 4 years later, "your on your own." It almost seems that it is worth your while to be on 'the list' so that you can get all the extra help!!
I am glad and surprised that I have made it past the three year mark. I love to teach and am glad that I have had the experience of this inner city school. The school may not exist next year but it will always hold a special place in my heart for teaching me to be the best teacher I can be. Working in a challenging environment forces you to use your imagination and do anything in your power to make the concepts STICK.