Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This Is What The APs Thought Of Us

One semester I was given a class of main stream and special education students.  The students had all scored poorly on an entrance exam and needed the Integrated Algebra subject taught with extreme patience and in four semesters instead of two.

I just found some old photos that I took of the room we were assigned.  It was an art room. The only board was the little one pictured above.  The students on the side could barely see what was written. Kids were on top of one another and not very comfortable.

The weakest kids in the building were assigned to one of the worst rooms.  It was a team teaching class and it took over three weeks to find a special education teacher capable of working in it.  I was first assigned a young substitute with no special education experience or credits.  She tried but did not know how to deal with one of the emotionally disturbed boys in the room.  When I spoke to the chairperson to get help, she responded by removing the boy, an error I believed because I knew I could have worked with him.  Eventually a good special education teacher, one with a heart and math ability and experience joined me and the class began functioning quite well.  We were one happy, learning family who adjusted to our horrible conditions.

And then a new geometry class was created.  The math AP decided the teacher free that period was not capable of teaching geometry and my program was changed.  I lost my "family."  The kids were also upset.  They did not want a new teacher, they wanted the one they knew and the one they knew liked them.  (Not that the new teacher didn't, they just didn't know her.)

Bottom line, these were "throw away kids."  No one expected them to pass so it didn't matter if the room was awful or if the teachers kept changing.  What a crime.  Two administrators gave them whatever was left over.

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