Thursday, May 19, 2016

In the Classroom of an Inexperienced Teacher

   Last month, I was covering for a Special Ed teacher. One of his classes was a team teaching class of about 25. The very young man, who was the assigned teacher, was well dressed, bespectacled, and nerdy. The students were very noisy upon entering the room, and the crescendo increased for the entire 45 minutes. It was far worse than most of my coverages for this entire year. That's saying a lot  because I don't know the kids, they don't know me and I've had many horrid classes. I have never seen this level of disrespect aimed at one teacher by so many students, simultaneously. They went into their groups at round tables in the room. Several had Bluetooth devices and began playing rap music. Another kid was watching an action movie. Several were taking snapchat photos of their friends and turning them into dogs, cats and unicorns. Others began to take group selfies. The teacher and I went from student  to student requesting that the devices be put away. Most students totally ignored him. Several told him to "get the f--k out of my face" and several of the girls told him to "suck their d--ks". I told the girls strongly, "this is your teacher, have some respect". I was starting to get very angry. One girl said, "we only have respect for those who respect us- he doesn't know how to teach". The teacher then went to the SmartBoard, to go over the Do Now. Not one kid had done it. He never raised his voice or got angry. (I was amazed, I would be going nuts.) He then called on the girl I had been speaking with, calling her by the wrong name. She went into a terrible frenzy, screaming and swearing. She hollered over to me, "You see what I f--king mean, he knows me since September and he doesn't even know my motherf--king name!" She then got up and said, "I'm going to fix your ass - I'm going to the principal". She came back and said "you better start teaching because the principal is coming in, in 15 minutes". I could see the teacher actually break into a sweat and turn a deep red. The teacher began screaming the lesson at the top of his lungs - absolutely no one, and I mean no one, was listening. He did this for the entire period. I went and talked to the girl who had gone to the principal. I said you're blaming him for the students actions. She said, "I can't learn because he can't control them; other teachers scream and scare them, he's a big pussy". I said, "why can't you be an example to them and do your work?". I sat down with her. She started to do some of the work. At the end of the period, I was sick to my stomach for this young man. I could tell he was despondent. He said it was his first year teaching. I made some recommendations and he thanked me. These new teachers need mentors, but what the hell do I know? I'm just the sub and Mulgrew says everything is great.

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Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.