I blame “student services”

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Last year I was such a naughty teacher, complaining about having 70 struggling math kids in one room, the administration moved me into the naughty room – kids who were “making up credits” on E2020. We worked really hard. With some kids I sat with them and we worked through every. single. problem. I know 25 ways to do, “Take 3 from both sides. Of the equal sign.” I had one kid who went from outright refusal to do anything, to working independently and getting 80% right. (maybe I am not so pleased with encouraging conformity – I actually think the students should riot) Sure it’s crappy math instruction, but it was at least “hey I have a shot at graduating” and it wasn’t just repeated guessing. We did mountains of repetitive crappy work.

I’m working registration at our school, and all my naughty kids have been transferred to the “alternative school.” We did refer to ourselves as the naughty room – to be fair, the students started it with, “How does it feel to be one of the bad kids, miss?” I explained that we were not bad, merely nonconformist, hence naughty. We were isolated in the basement, and we did what we liked – a pizza party every time someone completed an E2020 course, late arrivals were sent to get breakfast before they started, I let kids in when they came back from McDonalds in the afternoon, we had games and snuggly toys…

Actually it feels pretty darn good to be one of the naughty kids when the whole system is stacked against them. I understand that we want to be a “successful school” and these kids are not, so we’re moving them out. But we all tried so hard. All but one finished up at least one course, many kids finished 3, and it was not guessing, I made them work everything on paper. They were told in June that they were coming back. Nobody contacted them to say anything else. Someone just decided they can’t come here any more, and the computer rules.

“Student services” is clearly not. I blame them.

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