Different school environments - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      Substitute Teachers

Different school environments

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
newsubstitut
 
 
Guest

newsubstitut
 
 
Guest
Different school environments
Old 12-05-2009, 04:21 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

I am a new sub and have been fascinated with how different schools have very different vibes. Mostly, I have been working in middle/upper class suburban areas but yesterday I worked in a very urban school. What a stark difference! Whereas the staff I am used to working with are like a family-very friendly and warm...the staff at this school were stand off ish, not really extending themselves, seemed like they were more on edge?? I just got the impression that I was on my own and don't dare ask for help. The students were a little different too...I'm subbing in elementary and it seemed like some of these kids just did not buy into the concept of being at school and learning. It was almost like they had an attitude that they were doing me a favor by just being present in the classroom when they had other things to do! I felt like I expereinced almost another world that I never directly deal with. I don't plan to return but I just want to point out that the school environment/staff/ vibe of a school can directly impact your expereince/happiness as a teacher. I am just more in tune and comfortable with working with students in suburban America I guess.


  Reply With Quote

sevenplus's Avatar
sevenplus sevenplus is online now
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,208
Senior Member

sevenplus
 
sevenplus's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,208
Senior Member

Old 12-05-2009, 06:09 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

As a teacher in an urban school, I can tell you that not all urban schools are the same. I can assure you that you would find us very friendly and welcoming. We are never lacking for guest teachers!

I do think it is important to find the niche that is a good fit for you. Don't necessarily give up on all urban schools because of your experience in one, however.

And remember that many students (in urban, subburban and rural schools alike) are dealing with things that some of us couldn't even fathom a young child having to endure. Sometimes an "attitude" is a defense mechanism. (I'm not defending disrepectful behavior, just saying when you get to know students sometimes you find out more than their exterior would reveal.)
sevenplus is online now   Reply With Quote
Rowe Rowe is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 108
Full Member

Rowe
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 108
Full Member
Maintain A Positive Attitude and Expectations
Old 12-05-2009, 10:51 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

Hello Newsubtit,

Great thread! But I have to ask, who wouldn't be more comfortable working at a school in which the staff is friendly and the students are free and clear of personal issues? I've made similar observations in the schools where I've worked, and sometimes, differences are noticeable. The truth is, much like adults, not all children share the same socioeconomic background. And generally speaking, schools located in affluent communities tend to have more pleasant school environments, because obviously people who reside in affluent communities do not have to deal with issues related to poverty and limited opportunties.

And I've heard people say that if most good teachers decide to abandon students who need good teachers the most, then how will underserved students ever get the education they so much need and deserve. This is an important point. However, educating students whose lives are dysfunctional is stressful. I've worked with students in underserved communities, and the first thing that you must NOT do when educating and relating to them is judge them. A teacher must not judge any child for his or her circumstances. Regardless of a child's race, gender, religion, or socieoeconomic background, it is a teacher's responsibility to provide the very best education, and to hold the same high and attainable expectations that should be held for any student.

When I first started substitute teaching, I'll never forget taking a long-term assignment to teach a Physical Science course at a Middle School that is located in a lower-middle class suburban community and whose student population was predominately African American. At this school, teachers are expected to greet students at the door and to monitor the halls as the students unpack their things. And every morning, I had to listen to the neverending complaints and the most offensive put downs imaginable about the students from a Math teacher whose classroom was directly across from mine. He was relentless and he absolutely detested the students. Wanting to remain calm and pleasant, I listened to that mess, but what I really wanted to do is to say to him as loud as I could, "IF YOU CAN'T STAND THESE KIDS, THEN QUIT YOUR JOB AND STOP WHINING. THESE KIDS PROBABLY CAN'T STAND YOU AS MUCH YOU CAN'T STAND THEM! SO GET LOST!" I wish I could have said that, but I didn't.

A good teacher is a teacher who is good at what they do, and has compassion for all students.

Last edited by Rowe; 12-05-2009 at 04:55 PM..
Rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Amberlee's Avatar
Amberlee Amberlee is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 608
Senior Member

Amberlee
 
Amberlee's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 608
Senior Member
Different environments
Old 12-05-2009, 11:56 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

Hello newsubstitut, thanks for your post and welcome!

My experience has occasionally been the opposite of yours. My worst experience in a school environment was in an upper class area that was very affluent. When I came into the school, the first thing they said to each other (not to me) was, "Oh, SO AND SO couldn't substitute today I guess!" and then turned their backs and kept talking to each other.

No hello, no 'welcome to our school', just complete and utter ignoring of me since I wasn't their usual substitute.

The kids on the other hand were extremely polite and it was a pleasure to work with them. But that school environment was poisonous.

I've been to some lower income schools (in particular an inner city school with a special behaviour program I go to more often lately) and while the student's behaviour can be atrocious, physical violence, etc, I have been returning because the staff is extremely supportive and encouraging to each other.

Too bad you can't get both students and staff on board at the same time! I guess my point is that there are good and bad apple schools on all levels of the socioeconomic scale.
Amberlee is offline   Reply With Quote
cvt's Avatar
cvt cvt is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,306
Senior Member

cvt
 
cvt's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,306
Senior Member
different vibes
Old 12-05-2009, 12:19 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

Very interesting thread. As the other posters have already mentioned, you cannot really judge all schools by your one and only experience. I work at a low-income high needs Title I school, but you would find the entire school to be very welcoming. This includes the students. We try to make it a home away from home for our students and our staff, and have succeeded quite well. Substitutes love coming to our school. So don't discount low income urban schools just because you had one bad experience. Every school is different, and the ideal would be a warm and welcoming place for all.

One of my team partners recently moved to an upper middle class/suburban school. The school building itself was new and beautiful, the classrooms state-of-the-art. I'm always envious when I see how much those kids and teachers have on "the other side." I went to visit her and found it to be a very toxic environment. Teachers and office staff were cold and unfriendly, the principal seemed indifferent, the VP almost hostile. Parents were gossiping in the hallways. My former team partner was quite unhappy because she had thought the grass would be greener there. She said she and many other teachers were looking to move out of the school.


cvt is offline   Reply With Quote
Rowe Rowe is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 108
Full Member

Rowe
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 108
Full Member
Get In Where You Fit In
Old 12-05-2009, 05:20 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

So far, it seems the consensus is to get in where you fit in. What's important to one person might not be important to another. In order for me to feel comfortable teaching, I must work at a school that is very well maintained and managed. To me, there's nothing worse than learning and teaching in a trifling school. I'll tell the administrative staff to take me off their preferred sub list in a New York minute if I see evidence of a school that reveals the carelessness of the school's administration.

And so, it makes no difference to me if everyone in the school doesn't smile from ear to ear whenever they see one another in the halls. As long the school is run like a business, everyone is doing their job and is accountable for their work, and they are behaving professionally, then it's all good. When I'm in the classroom, I do the very best job that I can do as a substitute educator, and I take comfort in that. I don't need to make 10 friends before the day is over, because that's not what I'm there to do.

What's important to me is being in a school with an administraton that is doing what they are supposed to be doing, because what goes on at the top of an organization impacts everything else. A school with good leadership is very important, because school leadership heavily influences the school's overall performance.

Last edited by Rowe; 12-05-2009 at 05:41 PM..
Rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Rowe Rowe is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 108
Full Member

Rowe
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 108
Full Member

Old 12-05-2009, 05:36 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

Hey Amberlee,

Great response, but I consider a school where the people are warm and welcoming to visitors a bonus. Schools are very busy places. So much goes on at a school, because there is so much to do in a short period of time. And so, I don't think a sub should always take it personally if they're not greeted warmly by some staff members. When we feel alienated, we can just remind ourselves of the reason why we're really there: to teach the kids as best we can.
Rowe is offline   Reply With Quote
broomrider's Avatar
broomrider broomrider is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,801
Senior Member

broomrider
 
broomrider's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,801
Senior Member
Interesting
Old 12-06-2009, 09:52 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

I've spent most of my career teaching in low income schools. Since I started subbing, I've had some stand-offish teacher's rooms in high SES schools and fewer in lower SES schools. The students seems generally the same.

I do have friends in very high SES schools and when they divide up students at the end of the year, they balance for student abilities, gender, and problem and helpful parents. Where I seldom saw a parent in my schools--they were working two jobs, taking care of small children and/or afraid of school--folks in other schools are inundated.

If you are interested in learning more about poverty schools, you might check out www.ahaprocess.com (Ruby Payne's website) and www.combarriers.com. Both offer some practical advise on teaching students in poverty. Richard Rothstein has an interesting book, too: Class and Schools.
broomrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Amberlee's Avatar
Amberlee Amberlee is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 608
Senior Member

Amberlee
 
Amberlee's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 608
Senior Member
Hi Rowe
Old 12-06-2009, 10:51 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

I understand where you are coming from Rowe. I also like being in a well run school. However I have noticed that the schools that tend to ignore the substitutes also tend to ignore the paperwork aspect of substitutes. They are less likely to show you where to go, to provide you necessary materials or supervision information, etc etc. Sometimes there is an exception though!
Amberlee is offline   Reply With Quote
longtimesub longtimesub is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 364
Full Member

longtimesub
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 364
Full Member
School environment and sub evaluation.
Old 12-10-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

I work for a district which has several high schools...Some high schools are in "undesirable" areas...Other high schools are in "desirable" areas...I work mostly for high schools in "undesirable" areas...I think that high school teachers in "desirable" areas have preferred sub lists...Before AESOP was used, I used to get many jobs in high schools located in "desirable" areas...With the AESOP, it is a different story...

My experience has been that I have received a "bad" evaluations in "nice high schools" for making minor "mistakes"(?)...One math teacher complained that I was "too strict" with his students...His class was for seniors who were struggling to pass the high school exit exam...One social studies teacher complained that I didn't know what I was doing in terms of following the lesson plan...

My point is that I would not have received such "bad" evaluations in any of high schools in "undesirable" areas...In fact, I have never received a "bad" evaluation in high schools in "undesirable" areas...


longtimesub is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
Substitute Teachers
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:08 AM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net