Saturday, April 23, 2016

I subbed again and nearly tendered my resignation

My second time subbing was terrible, horrible, no good, very bad.

I knew from the second I walked in the 4th grade classroom that things were not cool.  It didn't look like what I expect a 4th grade classroom to look like.  It is elementary school, for pete's sake. There should be bulletin boards made up and some remnant of sweetness.

Like this:

Ok, it is April, so it wouldn't be that neat, but there should be an indication that there is order and routine and procedure.

The classroom I walked into looked like this.  Maybe not quite this bad, but almost.

I had to hunt for sub plans.  They were not easily in laid out in plain site on the desk, as they should be.  About two hours into the day, another teacher came in and said, "Here.  I forgot to bring these to you."  They were the actual sub plans for the day.  Another clue that this school sucks.

What I learned from subbing here is the following:

1. When the other teachers tell you the person you're subbing for has "checked out" and "has never had control of this class," you can pretty much hang up any notion of doing anything productive with that group of students.

2. When the other teachers tell you that when the school brings a sub in, they get "thrown to the wolves," you can pretty much count on having a really shitty day.

3. When two boys are this close to fighting and you call the office and NO ONE EVER COMES TO THE CLASSROOM to help, you know administration is useless.

The sad part is that if a handful of the kids in that class could have been removed, the rest of them would have been willing to learn, if not eager.

The sad part is that many of these kids' parents don't know what is going on or if they do, they are too ignorant or timid to demand that things change (because they are non-native speakers or don't know how to navigate the system).  Or they are too busy working two jobs to try to make ends meet.  Or they are too strung out on drugs to care.  Or they are in jail (per one of the kids in the class).  

If I ever walked into my child's school and saw that garbage, I'd be on the news protesting.

As I walked out, one of the teachers asked if I'd ever come back, and I said, "Probably not."


Jennifer said...

It's sad that those kids are stuck in that situation every day and have no choice about it. It's sad that their teacher has checked out. And we wonder why kids drop out of school.

Shilo said...

This breaks my heart. Our system is so broken.