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Archive for January, 2009

Once again, the job

January 30th, 2009 at 01:27 pm

Last night was chaotic. For starters, I did not realize that some of these "middle school" students are 16 - 17 years old! Some have been in middle school for almost 6 years.

Well, those particular kids are the kids the city has placed in this program to keep them off the streets. The problem is that too many other kids want to be as cool as them, so they mimic all their bad behaviors. The program director's hands are tied because she can't kick them out collectively (though she plans to eliminate a few).

I'm sad and angry. Sad because they will continue to fall through the cracks and likely end-up in prison. Angry because these kids act bad and really disrupt everything! But what do you do? Tainting those kids who have a greater hope is certainly something you want to avoid.

Started Job Yesterday

January 27th, 2009 at 01:44 pm

My new job is working in an afterschool program for at-risk students (middle school) that really should not go home for one reason or another (no one there, so they'll run the streets, etc.).

There are some kids with behavioral problems (disrespect, for one). The administrators DO NOT tolerate it, and kick the kids out if they don't comply. Part of me feels sorry for those guys, but there is a waiting list of kids that want to come and the disrespectful kids are ruining the experience for the others. Glad for followed-through rules.

I've been assigned to the 8th graders who are failing. But I also worked with 6th graders last night. Some of those guys cannot do the math that my 1st grader can do, much less to grade level. They couldn't do long division, they were counting on their fingers, etc. Some really, really couldn't understand that on a graph your numbers have to be equally spaced in order for the graph to make sense. So if these passing 6th graders are at this level, I shudder to see where the failing 8th graders are. Wow. I hope I can help, but I'm used to private tutoring people who care about their education. This is definitely a shift for me.