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February 9, 2016 / sharoncopy

Days 56,57,58,59

There was a fight between 4th graders on the playground and I could see about 3-4 other kids kicking the person who was down. I hurried, but I am not very fast – I yelled but no one stopped. Suddenly, a neighbor appeared from across the street – he ran to the 4′ chain link fence, put two hands on top of it, and vaulted over the fence – ran to the kids and broke up the fight. He walked the beaten kid towards the building as I walked the aggressor. I thanked him and had to listen to him gripe about the “teachers” not doing their job if he had to come from his house to break up a fight. Later I did mention to the principal that at the time, there were five teachers out there and me – a sub who had been there half an hour, who didn’t even know which kids were mine – and the five were all together chatting and facing the playground. I was sitting on a bench facing the field, and I saw the fight.

I can only work 3 half days a week now due to attending Graphic Design classes 5 days a week. Suffice it to say that for these 4 half days, I taught in very stressful/challenging 4th, 3rd, and 1st grades, and in a different very nice 1st grade. The 4th and 1st were the worst – but I decided not to let it get me all upset and stressed out. I kept having kids “clip down” on the behavior chart if they would not cooperate, and ended up sending 5 4th graders to the office (this principal actually thanked me), and about as many 1st graders. Its wonderful how much easier it is to actually teach students when the troublemakers are removed from the scene. It kind of seems fairer to to kids who behave themselves and really want to learn, too. But then – what to do with the ones who won’t cooperate? I’m sure the regular teachers seek to help them learn too. My patience level varies.

When I have about 8 1st graders who refuse to come in from the playground and I have to take names and clip them all down, it’s aggravating. When I have about 8-10 4th graders who will NOT line up and be reasonably quiet so that we can go up the stairs (without pushing) – so I have to call the principal to get them to settle down – it can be unsettling.

I have to hope that I will get work in the better districts (read: higher income level) more often. It is true – there is a huge difference in behavior. And only one of my schools was in Detroit.


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