Sunday, February 13, 2005

The class from hell

Inspired by the following:
All of us that teach in either public (or private) schools have an innate fear of "The Class From Hell." Here is the story of a New York City teacher that "teaches" a Class From Hell. Things are so bad that she has written an anonymous letter to the City Council describing the violent conditions at her middle school. Anonymous says that she can't teach because the class is infested with a number
[The Education Wonks]
I've had the class from hell but it was nothing like this.

I had them for one period and in that class was one child, whom it turned out was supposed to be in Special Ed for mental retardation, keep in mind this was a pre-algebra class. He was the strangest kid I ever dealt with. He didnt react like normal people. For example, one day I smiled and said hello. His reaction was to sneer at me and burst out with a comment that didnt always make any sense. After getting assistance from my department head it was determined, his paperwork hadnt been forwarded from his previous school and we got him placed into Special Ed.

Three or four students in the class were arrested for drug related charges and sent to a Juvenile Detention Center during the course of the year... they never returned.

I had a pair of sisters who had been placed in foster care after being abused by a male; they switched schools for about a month and then returned. I guess they decided that I was ok because they returned. I did have to make a home visit just after the switch, but they were never a problem after that.

That just leaves a couple of gang bangers, a couple of kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and a couple of the usual aggressive loudmouth girls- and a kid whos mom left him with his grandmother after extorting money from herand running off with a boyfriend... did I mention she wouldnt tell him where they had moved too or given him a phone number? I got someone to cover and pulled him out for a frank discussion one day when Id had it with him. Hetold me his story and was never a problem for me after that.

By the end of the year, these same kids grew attached to me and the class though still tough was manageable. We used to have a sports festival every year. Because I was involved,my students would come find me on the football field and check in during their period. In all of the classes, the students checked in and one or two would hang out for the whole period... In this class, more than half of them hung out at my booth and helped for the entire period.

So I guess what Im saying is I didnt get the impression that the teacher in the article did every thing she could have.

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