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April 21, 2017 / sharoncopy

High School day

I got to be an English teacher today! Yay! Mostly the instructional aide was running the show and I just helped keep kids on task, but I did get to help some of them one-on-one to write a persuasive essay. I also (computer whiz that I am – cough! cough!) showed the Aide and quite a few of the kids how to use Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-X, and Ctrl-A. They all thought it was really cool! I encouraged some of the kids to learn to type properly so that they can be fast, more marketable, and do their homework faster. 🙂 It was nice to actually get to help them work on essays.

The teacher made her room a “no gum chewing” room and they were all writing essays either in support or against her rule. Out of 3 classes of 18-22 kids, I only noticed one or two supporting her decision. Most of the kids, including the 10 or so that I helped, were all promoting the wonderfulness of gum-chewing.

I think I’d like to teach high school more often. These were very respectful kids. I don’t love starting at 7:15, but I do love finishing at 2:30!

I chatted with a teacher during lunch. He talked about teaching a class of 40 where 2/3 of them don’t speak English. I shared my thought that kids immigrating here should have to take a whole semester of intense English immersion and study – and math – and that’s ALL – and then get mainstreamed in. He said the schools would never go for it because the kids would get too far behind in earning their credits for graduation. Hmmm. I said that this is FAKE education if kids are attending classes and do not know English, then they are NOT learning the material anyway. So what if they have to go to high school for one semester longer! He talked about how the 200 seniors ALL applied to at least one college. It made the news – yay for their district. Well – not so sure the story related that it was a requirement for them to apply to one college, nor that they had to give the kids rewards and incentives just to get them to do it. Also, it doesn’t mean that they are all going to go, or that they will all make it when they do! Looking at how kids do 4-5 years later would be a better test.

And then again – why is the ONLY litmus test of whether a high school does well the percentage of students who go to college? Seriously, this focus has got to change. Trades workers are needed, and for many people college is a waste of money.

I want to mention that the first grade teacher I subbed for yesterday had some really nice “holders” on the tables. They were about 15 inches long, and resembled the tray on a white board – kids can keep a few pencils in them, and there’s a slot for a stand-up name tag. This is GREAT for subs, because they are quite visible so we can call the kids by name instead of just “you in the pink shirt……please come here.”

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