A Phillie Teacher

I was a starry-eyed teacher from New Jersey. Now I work for Philadelphia Public Schools.

My School: Focus 46

Posted by aphillieteacher on September 23, 2010

The city has come out with a description of schools that are deemed “persistently dangerous.”  They should have included a photograph of my building because we are definitely the poster child for the following:

To be designated a Focus 46 School, a campus must have an average daily attendance of under 90 percent, more than 40 percent of the school’s population must be chronically truant with 10 or more unexcused absences, or the school must have five or more violent incidents per 100 students, including other criteria.

Maybe the other criteria includes students telling the teacher to f*ck herself when she asks them to put away cell phones or stop their incessant talking (?)

Yes, I have had a very hard day. Teaching three different new classes for five periods  is taking its toll on me. The students, however, seem to have plenty of energy reserves.


7 Responses to “My School: Focus 46”

  1. ricochet said

    Why wouldn’t they have extra reserves? If they are like mine, they sleep in class or do other things that involve NO WORK on their part.

    • pfffffff you are *so* right. I can’t tell you how many students I have had to nudge and tell “Put your head up.” It’s either that or “Put the cell phone away. Unplug the headphones.”

      I don’t see much effort going on, unless it is effort *not* to succeed.

  2. J said

    Isn’t it the truth? If I could get all of my students to share the effort I put into the class, they’d do far, far better, even with 1/20somethingth of the work I do, if you include my whole work day.

    Still at it though, hacking away at all the complaining. Have noticed that the class that has higher performing students has a much different feel than the class with the lowest performing students. Glimpses of desire to do well, ability to work through at least a tiny bit of frustration rather than give up before starting, etc. It’s nice to see even a little of it.

  3. J said

    Still math, but in 5th grade now. Since I’m teaching the whole grade, I get more of a mix of students this year. They still complain about work and hate to work on their own (they’d rather wait out the teacher and get the answers that way), but the anger-fueled frustration level is slightly lower in the kids with the higher skills, especially during tests.

    The talking though. The incessant talking. Then the three step process to a correction:
    “I wasn’t [talking, shoving, tapping, stomping, poking]” (when of course I just watched them doing said action)

    followed by, “but so and so was doing it too/doing it first/does it and you never ever notice and you hate me”

    and the final step, the sucking of the teeth or rolling of eyes or loud exclamation and the angry “this is the stupidest school, I hate this school, I’m getting out of here.”

    It’s tiring, it is. But at least now that I’ve mapped the steps out, I gain some amusement from watching them play out. On a long hard day, I have been known to point out that when they move to step 2 they prove that they’d just uh, fibbed, in step one.

  4. dkzody said

    You all need to make a move, “Waiting for Super Student.”

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