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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A parent sticks up for her daughter... a teacher!

From a reader

My daughter just started teaching - 1st year out of college with a Math degree that she worked very hard for- at a Duval County High school.  Unfortunately, you don't pay much attention till it hits home...but I am appalled at what she has to put us with every day from a handful of students.  These students make her job almost impossible and the other students she has suffer as a result.  She is being threatened every day and has asked numerous times for help - the only help she gets is being told - you just have to deal with it. NO ONE has really offered her any constructive help.  In fact, a staff person just told all the teachers he is concerned about safety at the school because of the delinquent kids who they can't control.  She is cussed at, yelled at and disrespected every day...and is told "just hang in there - it will make you a better teacher".  She writes referrals, calls parents, has tried everything she's been taught and everything experienced teachers have suggested and nothing has worked.  That is unacceptable...I see now why the education stats are so do not give someone who has dreamed their whole life of becoming a teacher a fighting chance.  I am sure many quit after their first year of dealing with this - if they make it through the year.  My daughter is tough and will but how much more productive could she be if these students were effectively dealt with.  She says she is giving it 5 years - if this is what life is like everyday she teaches - she will find another career.  I cannot understand how our school system has gotten to a place where a few students rule.
They put a first year teacher in a class of nothing but remedial kids all day - every day...which is challenging enough - then they expect her to have enough experience to discipline kids who have no intention of learning and have over the top anger and other  behavioral issues.  Everyone loses here.  No teacher should be required to do this.  This is way more than a disciplinary issue and frankly I am concerned for her safety.
This does not happen in every school - why do we allow it to happen in some.


  1. It happens in most middle and high schools in Duval in some way, shape, or form. I will say this; my first year was very much like what she is going through. My second year was almost the complete opposite; my students were very similar, but I had changed. I still wrote referrals, called parents, and moved students around; however, I had developed a different aura, a confidence in how and what I taught. This only comes through experience, at least it did for me. I went home daily with a smile on my face.
    Now, I am by no means saying that these behavior issues should ever occur. Behavior, in general, is awful all around; however, it may get better, like it did for me. It took me time and practice to become better at my profession. What the parent above describes is the endless plight of most teachers in a Duval middle or high school, and no human being should ever have to put up with it. No one in charge wants to hear the truth, because the small percentage of students and parents who create an awful working environment for teachers and other students somehow are allowed to rule the schools.
    One of my colleagues once did research on the topic of distractions in the classroom. She found that the distractor learned more than those who were distracted. Why are we letting other students suffer for the sake of the few who need more help than a school can give?

  2. Who's her mentor? Where is she teaching? Do they have a math coach? Have her contact me.

    Greg Sampson
    Math Coach
    JEB Stuart Middle School

  3. It gets better. Really but she must learn to "roll" a bit and not let them see her sweat. We have reached this state in education because there are few boundaries at home and the Bill Gates style, corporate education "reformers" have given slacker parents an easy way out of their parental responsibilities by institutionalizing the blaming of teachers. Even the Obama administration makes states tie teacher pay to "accountability" which includes managing your own class. Schools look like "failure factories" if they suspend too many kids so outrageous behavior continues unabated.