Author Topic: A Year In Review As A New Teacher  (Read 231 times)

Offline Semnae

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A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« on: March 06, 2017, 11:02:10 pm »
A year of teaching has truly opened my eyes and given my an entirely new perception of society as a whole! The school year won't be over until May, but I don't think things will change much in the next few months.

After being hired, it quickly became clear that I was only hired because they needed someone to fill the position, and the district had no intention of training inexperienced staff. They gave me a broken projector, assigned me a "mentor" I never actually saw, and told me to teach. They made me teach Physics and Chemistry, but I was only qualified to teach Biology, so I had to take another TeXeS exam just so the second semester would count toward my standard certificate. I had absolutely nothing, and have been making up the class as I went along from the first day. All three new Science teachers, including myself, were forced to resign, effective the last day of school, at the beginning of the second semester. Refusal to do so would result in termination, which we would have to report on our applications from then on. It appears that they just cycle out new teachers every year until they land on someone with experience.

Since I was teaching two different classes, I've had to do twice the work my colleagues did in lesson planning and preparation. The classes I teach are CTE (Career and Technical Education). The idea behind CTE is that people wanting to go directly into the job market right after high school would be put into these classes which have more hands on experience. The reality is that schools put anyone they think will score poorly on the STAAR test into CTE classes because they aren't STAAR testing classes. This way, the school looks like it's doing better than it actually is. The result is that I have to teach the least motivated students in the entire school, which everyone else has already given up on. I can't even give them hands on experience as intended, because any materials for the class would have to come out of my own pocket.

I have never been more convinced that the drop out age should be reduced to about 14. In Texas, all teenagers are forced to go to high school until their 18th birthday. Most of my students are just waiting to be old enough to drop out. Since they've no intention of getting an education, they are bored, and disrupt class. Starting from very early in the semester, I've been told to "just pass them", so the school can get rid of these students. Early in the year another teacher looked through my class roster and point to one of the names and said, "Don't worry about that one, he's just a waste of time". At the time, I was mortified by the statement. I don't like to think of anyone as a waste of time, but I later came to understand what she meant.

I've already lost several students due to various reasons, including armed robbery. I don't feel safe here. A quarter of my students would stab me for some momentary entertainment, and another quarter would laugh hysterically while I lay bleeding on the ground. The other half would stand around in a stupor wandering if this meant they could leave class early.

The school is 80% poverty, so I was expecting behavioral problems from the start, but I was completely unprepared for the widespread nihilism. I give them a passionate lesson about Science, and they don't care. I give them instructions, and they immediately disregard them because they don't care. I talk to them about their refusal to follow class rules and procedures, and they don't care. I call their parents, and they don't care. I write them referrals to the office, and they don't care. They spend time out of class for in-school-suspension, but they don't care. I am held accountable for classroom management, but these students are unmanageable. Nothing deters them. During a tornado drill, I asked one of my students why he wouldn't simply sit and face the wall like he was supposed to. His response was, "because I don't care if I die". How am I supposed to make someone feel passionate about Science if they are indifferent to being alive?

The only thing they seem to care about is entertainment. In these individuals, passion and curiosity have been replaced by an insatiable desire to be entertained. The enemies of America need only wait until this next generation takes power, then offer phones with free unlimited data plans in exchange for America's surrender. The next generation has completely lost perspective.

Online Ixarku

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 12:51:23 am »
Wow, man, that's intense.  It sounds like these are kids who need a lot more than what public education has to offer.  It's unsurprising given your location, but at least you can have faith that it's not like that everywhere.

The real question is, what are your plans for the future after this school year ends?
If I ever meet God in person, I'm going to ask Him why he created so many stupid people, and then punch Him in the nose before he answers.

Offline Semnae

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 01:13:03 am »
I'm stuck desperately looking for a job again. Since I technically resigned, I'm inelidgeble for unemployment, but I will get paid through the Summer after my resignation takes effect. I'm not sure after this disaster if I want to try teaching again, but I'll have to take whatever I can find. I've applied to the Texas Game Warden Academy in Hamilton, though there's no guarantee I'll be accepted.

Offline Johnny D

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 09:51:35 am »
Forget intense, that's fukking scary!  In which african country you teach again,!? 'cuz I must've missed that.
Nope, can't be Africa, those poor, well-intended people would rejoice at the opportunity of being taught new information, both scientific and nonscientific, they would consider it in itself entertainment! So you can't possibly be in Africa.

I do not teach. I consider it simply too boring and under payed altogether, but I do admit in some cases, some domains of teaching like literature I would find most attractive because the dimensions you can rise into a person by fueling his/her imagination about the multitudes of reasons another person fictional or not would do or think or be the way he/she is. Science I think would inspire me less, but not by much. I imagine myself stating that gravity is nothing more than a stretching of space inwards, towards the planets core, the very reason we are pressed against our feet witch in their turn are pressed against the ground, and the air is pressed against us layer by layer being called atmospheric pressure, and gravity it's just one of the multitude of forces that help our Universe stay together and not just fall into itself, or out of itself. But as I always say, it would be bit redundant saying about the same thing over and over again till I myself would get bored by myself.:))

But more than anything I imagine I would tell my students that it is true they should enjoy what's left of their youth as much as they can because you can never know when it's going to end. Not necessarily in death, not as much the body as the emotional axis which through our lives gets pushed and torn much more then gravity ever can by our deep, sad, frighting experiences ever mounting into an ever scarier world that we face and that shapes who we become. Let's take me for example. As I grew forced to as everyone is through life, because we can not remain children for very long, my emotions got distorted, even slayed at the point most of the time I may not care weather I live or die, but then, when I became such a person, filled with sadness and fear, no longer able to feel any joy into my day to day life, I... and I say this with utmost truthfulness, I use information to keep me going, to save me from my sad self. And it's not like I have the information to build a mechanical hand or robot, or even know how to hijack one of them built by other people, it's something much more basic, much more important: I have at my disposal the required mental expansion, imagination capacity and raw information to build myself, in myself a better world, a world I can live in my own mind, regressed by choice out of the real world, out of the oppressive world everyone else is forced to live in. Let's leave me out for a moment. People..., you do that sometimes by the means of a book, or a TV show, or a story told by someone older, or something you find in your phone googling "ass monkey hit by tornado" or whatever; but without a true engagement, investment in information you as you are won't be able, forget the ability to create your own world, but won't be able even to understand what the fuak that TV show is about, not to mention a book or a poem. Most what you can do is laugh yourself off like an idiot and that resumes everything you get from it, nothing more, nothing that can shake your boots off, nothing that can make you say "I AM ALIVE, I know that now". A goof laugh at the very most and then you'll fall dead again. You don't even know it but you miss most of what other worlds are about because your defiance of information at a time your emotional axis is still complete, is still safe and healthy and at the time you had not just the opportunity, but the privilege to expend your mind. Not for today, but for a darker, much more sad and lonesome day of tomorrow. Information as in knowledge is the mistress that gives you purpose and force of life inside your own world, when solitude and the lack of options knock you down into the common one.

You know, shit like that I'd be telling kids every day. Mostly because my world revolves around me enjoying me speaking, regardless of who's listening, having a kick out of it. But that's how I take my emotions back, I get myself healthy again, I fuak the despair, and the loneliness and the sadness and the lack of options right in the but and I am profoundly rejoiced I can taste what's best out of any worlds, and most of all, out of my own.:) (I say that now because I am not under the duress of actually having the duty to talk to children, if I'd be, I'd succumb to it and I'd suck as much as I'd bore myself) :))
And that's my advice to you too, not just to children, regardless of how scary something is, like the institutionalized, depraved world we live in a.t.m., have faith that your ability to ignore it and mind your own world(s) is far greater than it's ability to scare you.

I don't think we are heading into a disaster tomorrow children wise, because as much as many will suck and be great only at being incompetent and ignorant, some will excel far more then the average Joe of today, just to spite those who are their opposite! :)) I mean, there's so much information now at hand, children with love for knowledge will not go extinct and they will lead us into a better tomorrow herding the rest as they go, I honestly believe that.

That being sad I wish you good luck in finding a good job, we can't make it into the next year, maybe sometimes not even into the next month if we don't have a job to put food on our table. Yet again we can't make it also into the next tomorrow if we're afraid we're gonna go broke or starve. So balance is the key, fear is the enemy, prudence is the guide.
So what's a dick then!? (some defying child would add to mockingly question what I just said)
A device to make future completely opposite from nerds children suck as yourself. And I wouldn't take it as a compliment. (I would reply)
:happy:

If I bored you, rise your hand! Only those of you who read all I've written here count. :laugh:
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 09:17:59 am by Johnny D »
It's the human urge to light up the dark corners for answers in other peopleā€¦ but at the end of the day, there are no answers there.
Just more lives as sad and singular as your own.

Do not go gentle into that good night, / Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Offline halfelite

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 05:57:55 pm »
Sadly that is the way most Education systems in the US work for the low income areas. While low income plays I role I think the social aspect that follows low income plays the biggest role. Most of these kids know they will not have a "normal" job its usually some sort of illegal job and most of them start it before they even enter high school. As for drop out age. They dont do that because the school gets money based on attendance now the question of where that money is going as it sounds like they are shifting teachers in an out so no high teacher incomes and broken equipment I would say you are are employed at a crooked district and the money is either being funneled to another school or someones pocket.


Offline Semnae

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2017, 07:31:56 pm »
We had a lock down a few weeks ago. It was not a scheduled drill, and I told the students this. We had no way of knowing if there was a shooter killing people in the hallways.  What would you do if you thought there might be a crazed gunman murdering people nearby? Would you try to escape or hide? Not these kids.

 The procedures for a lock down are simple. Lock the door, cover the windows, turn out the lights, go to a wall away from the door, and keep quiet. They just wouldn't do it. I covered the window and turned out the lights, but as soon as the lights went out, people started shouting and screaming. They weren't shouting or screaming out of fear. Instead, they were shouting and screaming because it's entertaining to watch me struggling to maintain control when the room is dark and I can't see who's making all the noise. They talked, laughed, and did pretty much anything but try to stay unseen and unheard.

Fortunately, the lock down was not because of a shooter. The police showed up to arrest a student, and he took off down the hallway. They did a lock down to get everyone else out of the halls and get all the doors locked so the runner would have nowhere to go. If there ever is a shooter, I'm worried my students are going to get me killed along with them. My students literally don't care if they die.

Offline kitamesume

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 02:24:55 am »
If there ever is a shooter, I'm worried my students are going to get me killed along with them. My students literally don't care if they die.

then shouldn't it be simple? make effort to save yourself first, think of your students later after they start realizing how stupid they are.

Offline capnmorgan

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 05:00:28 pm »
Chemistry and Physics you say?  Those were always my favorite classes!  The teacher didn't read from the books, he had a nerf gun and each day he would do different stuff with it. First day he tipped the darts with snap poppers.  The students challenged him to hit difficult targets and he would.  After he made the shot, he would explain the feat using physics. 

When it was a chemistry day, he would still use that freaking Nerf gun only he would tip the darts with different stuff.  Snap poppers, stink paste, he even had fire darts one day.  I wouldn't recommend the last one as he set off the fire alarms.  The one thing he always promised was a love potion, but he never did get to it.

Long story short, he always made class a show.  Rube Goldberg machines, Dominoes, even simple nerf guns firing balls vs darts always seemed to make the class go by faster and more fun.  Some of these tactics may help you, some may not.


If your superpower requires you to get naked, its not a power its a problem.

Offline Tanis

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 12:05:50 am »
I sat in as a teacher's aid while I started my path towards becoming a HS teacher...

Dealing with the kids?
Eh, some really annoying shits, but NOTHING COMPERED TO THE PARENTS!

Holy fuck.
Just...holy fucking shit did having to WATCH and then DEAL with the parents end my time in education.

I went from education to IT and never looked back.

Offline kitamesume

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Re: A Year In Review As A New Teacher
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 01:37:29 am »
kids can be coaxed, but parents are just plain... one-sided.
i mean, if you're not Gakuho Asano or anyone similar (e.g. someone who can make the president kneel with simple words) then you'd probably bleed from the eyes and ears.