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minze2001 minze2001 is offline
 
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Donít Trash My School
Old 05-07-2019, 06:14 PM
 
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Hello fellow educators,

I was talking to friends today and they tried to trash my school because we are a C school. I had to put them in their place.
I am tired of people outside a school making blanket statements like that without context.

For instance, Most of our students come from homes where English is their 2nd language, parental involvement is very low and many of our ELL students had very little education or none in their countries.I just listed a few of the issues we face .

However, we have good hard working teachers who try their best to overcome those obstacles, some teachers go home after 6 o’clock and keep working from home.

Maybe I overreacted but how can you say something like “that school is bad” without context. Have any of you experience that?


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Old 05-07-2019, 06:36 PM
 
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We are that school in my district. Extremely diverse population including refugees from around the world, a high bilingual population, high poverty (90%+). Our test scores aren't awesome, but they are improving.

Teachers talk stuff about our building a lot. It's true, it takes a certain type of person to do well at our school. Luckily, we have a staff full of a certain type of people.

I have 6 paras that work with me in my program. Most of them moved over from another school a few years ago when we had people retire. They are excellent and experienced, and are thrilled to be in our building because it is well managed, the kids try, and we have a lot of fun.

It seems like everyone who decides to transfer to our building gets told horror stories about how terrible it is. But then they come to visit us and realize those story tellers don't know what they are talking about.

At this point - with a nationally recognized parent engagement program, the highest % of national board certified teachers in our district, student growth in the high 90%iles for the past few years, amazing PD opportunities, innovative progams - I have decided that people are starting to get intimidated by us. Because we are awesome, even if we don't have the most family resources or highest test scores.

I'm sorry you had to deal with that from your friends. I'm glad you stuck up for your school. I'm sure you love your students as much as I love mine, and see their promise and progress.
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"Good" school
Old 05-08-2019, 03:19 AM
 
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I am not sure about your area, but around here good school vs. bad school is often a racist thing.

We have some rural school districts that have abysmal test scores, kids living in poverty and the opiate epidemic has led to a higher and higher crime rate. The schools themselves are literally falling apart.

Yet to many people these are good schools because they are majority white.
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I came from the "bad" school
Old 05-08-2019, 04:10 AM
 
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I feel ya! I transferred from the "bad" school and came to the "good" school only to decide I want to go back to the "bad" one. As a PP pointed out, it tends to be a racist thing but no one comes right out and says that. At the school I am at, the scores are higher because we have majority white students from involved homes. The "bad" school has a huge urban population from all over and as another PP pointed out, we do a good job of managing the type of kids we have and showing improvement. I can see why you're upset. Where I am at, the staff, parents, and students love to talk about how bad the school where I came from is and they even go as far as to assume that the teachers at the "bad" school are not very good. I prefer the teachers from my other school and if I had children, I would entrust any of those teachers with the care of them. It really irks me to have staff (come on, you're an adult!) and students talk badly about my coworkers who I watched worked tirelessly for the kids and campus.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:40 AM
 
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I'm at what is considered the "good" school except it isn't. Our admin is terrible, we have no PD opportunities, discipline is a joke, and our school is divided (thanks to admin). It's a great secret in our district. People get here and are shocked. They're also trying to figure out why people are tying to get out.


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Question for WGReading
Old 05-08-2019, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
At this point - with a nationally recognized parent engagement program, the highest % of national board certified teachers in our district, student growth in the high 90%iles for the past few years, amazing PD opportunities, innovative progams - I have decided that people are starting to get intimidated by us. Because we are awesome, even if we don't have the most family resources or highest test scores.
Would you mind describing your schoolís parent engagement program? Just broad strokes would be great - I would love to hear what you are doing that is working so well. TIA!
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:05 PM
 
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The school I graduated from is considered one of those "bad" schools. Since I've graduated, the ESL population has skyrocketed there and there are a lot of poor families now living in the town. I have been subbing there this past year in the same classroom and will start next school year as a full time teacher there. Honestly, it is not as bad as people outside the school think. Yes we have our problems like low test scores, some behavior problems, and uninvolved parents, but everyone works together to try to help the kids and it is really like a little community. I actually subbed there before I got my first full time job and all I kept thinking was that I wanted to go back there because I felt like it was home. And look at that, I eventually made my way back. So while people in other nearby towns may say the school stinks (and sometimes my own mother even says that), I know that the actual truth is that the school is a tight knit community who is doing everything they can to help their students succeed even while having obstacles to overcome.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:47 PM
 
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Quote:
I am not sure about your area, but around here good school vs. bad school is often a racist thing.
Yep. For sure that's true in my area.

Not to hijack the thread, but let me tell you a story. A few years ago I took some students to a music festival at another school in our conference. The host school was on the reservation with a student population that was nearly 100% native. This school is considered to be a "bad" school because of the minority population, the high poverty rate and some issues with gangs.

The next weekend, I happened to be judging another music festival and ended up eating lunch at the same table with one of the judges who had been at the earlier festival on the reservation. Now, there were lots of things he could have been talking about. He could have been talking about the wonderful brass choir he heard from one of the top small school band programs in the state. (A school and band program, BTW, that's about 45% Native.) He could have been talking about the interesting, circular design of the school and the beautiful artwork on display in the commons. He could even have been talking about the fact that the teachers and students from that school were a little frazzled because they had had a bomb threat the day before which required them to evacuate the school for the entire afternoon. Teachers, students and parents all stayed well into the evening to finish setting up for the festival rather than cancel or postpone the festival.

But, no, he wasn't talking about any of those things. He was talking about the teen pregnancy rate on the reservation and how unfortunate it is that Native girls can't be more moral. He was talking about how sickening it is that they need a daycare center in the high school so teen mothers can finish school.

This, right here, is how all the good work that's being done in high poverty/minority schools and communities gets ignored while the sole focus is on the problems. And even something good, like an on-site daycare center that enables teen mothers to get an education, gets twisted into something "sickening."

I can't even describe how angry I was.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:39 PM
 
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Yes...In my district those “bad schools “ are usually located in more urban areas with high minority populations. I am not blind to the problems some schools including mine face. My issue is that my friends are not aware of the work we do to address those issues.

We plan together
We call parents
We offer tutorials in the morning
We bring outside counseling from non profit agencies
Most of the teachers have high standards (I know because I run the credit recovery program and I see the kids that have to stay after school because they didn’t pass a class)


My point is most of us care about the kids and work hard to help them improve.

I guess what offended me more was the generalization that 1400 students were all bad

Of course, like most schools we have some behavior issues, but the majority of our students are good kids.

We have students who work on the weekends to send money back home
We have students with one or both parents in jail
We have students whose parents are facing deportation
We have students with parents with substance abuse problems

And yet a lot of them are overcoming those obstacles and mange to attend school and do well...In my opinion we have a lot of positive things in my school.
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Iím glad that you defended your school
Old 05-08-2019, 08:56 PM
 
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So many people who have never stepped in a school often bad mouth it.

If you donít defend it, who wil?


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'c' schools
Old 05-08-2019, 10:51 PM
 
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I started out working at a "rough" school and loved it. Super brilliant, passionate teachers who were extremely supportive of each other. There were some severe behaviours but they were well managed, and the principal would physically come to the classroom to help out if you needed back up. He was amazing.

I always praise that school when it comes up in conversation because it has such a bad reputation, but the full time staff deserve medals imo. And yeah the kids were difficult, but some of them had been through stuff most adults would never have to face.

I work in a 'good' school now, but I have so much respect for you Minze for working in your 'C' school alongside all those other great teachers giving it their all. I am glad you set the record straight for your friends
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