Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day -31

The increasingly out-of-control behavior at The March has finally caught the attention of the administrators. The teachers--myself included--have been at wit's end for several weeks, doing all sorts of elaborate tricks just to keep the kids from hurting each other. The City schools are rowdy enough on good days. For a month we've had nothing but awful days.

Last week 16 sixth graders were suspended for a melee in the hall. Our Fearless Leader has been bragging all year about her low suspension rate, but now she's realizing the cost of threatening kids all year with suspension but never actually doing it. The kids learn that they can do whatever the fuck they want without consequences. Calling parents only goes so far, and detention only goes so far. Some kids need to be put out before their parents will answer the phone or show up for a conference. And when Mom or Dad or Gramma has to miss work to come in and sign a re-instatement form, we can get a working phone number again and show video of what the children have been up to in school to their parents or guardians.

Today was horrible. The kids ran amuck in the cafeteria and the entire sixth and seventh grade were held for an hour detention (with a few exceptions, who were let go on recommendations from the staff). More suspensions were doled out. Some of my worst head-cases got three days, which means I might be able to teach something tomorrow.

Probably not.

I had an interview for a middle school job at a small alternative/charter school across Clifton Park from the March. They want me back for a second interview and to teach a lesson in front of a group of seventh graders. Saturday I have an interview at the Book, which is being renovated, re-organized with new management and leadership, and turned into a School for the Arts. Good Lord, why am I tempted to go back there? That place was batshit insane! But my former sixth graders on the West Side will be 8th graders next year--I might know many of the kids, and I miss a lot of them. I've also got other irons in the fire. The dream job is a school in Hampden, about a quarter mile from my house. It would be demanding, with long hours, but I like their approach, the leadership has been quite stable for several years running, and my wife's organization does a lot of work with them. I just want to nail down a slot before the job fair. I don't want any chance of being cast to the winds again like I was last fall. One never knows into what shit hole one may end up thrown. Like my current slot in a school built on a razed cemetery and named after a funeral home.


ajc said...

hang in there Geoff the year is almost over and it sounds like you've got a few good irons in the fire.

Denise Hagvall said...

Are you interested in KIPP schools at all?