Teach summer school they said, it would be fast and easy.
Hands down the hardest longest nine days of my life.
Don't worry we will provide the curriculum they said.
The 'curriculum specialist' copied and pasted the curriculum from last summer, when classes were only three hours not five and a half hours. He couldn't even be bothered to update the dates.
All supplies will be handled by the summer school office, they said.
The twelve pencils they provided us did not even support half of our students. They lasted half a day. We have 31 male students, 26 are non English speaking and six Spanish dictionaries. There were a total of twenty chairs the first day, 36 bodies.
The mentor will handle all of the copies, email them if you have any problems they said.
We have arrived early, unpaid, every single day to make copies. They don't answer emails. Not sure what they are being paid for. Showing up?
If the kids break the summer school contract they are out, they said. Zero chances and zero tolerance.
Kids curse each other out, fight, break bathroom doors and are sexually harassing you and all they get is a ten minute 'time out' in the library.
The district and state laws state there will be 10 students to one teacher, they said.
There are 31 boys in our classroom with only two teachers. And this is after they leveled the classes by hiring one extra teacher on day four.
You will get paid for the time you work, they said.
The first staff meeting after school lasted thirty minutes, at the end it was mentioned those were unpaid times so if we didn't want to know what was going on, don't show up. I have arrived at least 30 minutes early each day to make copies and plan. I have stayed at least an hour later every day in order to enter grades and notes in each of their files. But they adjust my clock ins and outs to fit their schedule.
You must enter a note in their file each day, you will have access to their files they said.
I made it the first six days before having access, even knowing who was SPED, ELL, 504, this was after three different forms of contacting people on my own time. I just received my final ARD Friday, day nine of summer school.
The day will be structured, structure is important with this demographic they said.
The first day it took us over two hours to even get the students into the classrooms. Each day this wastes nearly thirty minutes of the day. When the afternoon buses arrive they get on the announcements and tell the kids to go, classroom management no no. This doesn't mean the school day is over, just that they want the kids gone so why not let them out 15 minutes early each day. Rhyme or reason doesn't matter.
I wanted to quit the first day. I wanted to cry the first day. I wanted to know why the kids who are struggling the most are being tossed aside as if they mean nothing. Because frankly that message is the only thing these students have learned during summer school.
I have taught this demographic for four years, I knew what to expect. I have taught summer school before with this demographic, I knew what to expect. What I didn't expect was that the administration would be so disorganized, unsupportive and not follow through with a single thing they said.
I stuck it out, I don't quit jobs and frankly I need the money more than I needed my sanity or a relaxing summer.
But on Tuesday this week we will be state testing these students. Understaffed, without the proper facilities and after allowing these students to do whatever the fuck they wanted for ten straight days. For any teacher that has administered a state tests you know the stakes are high and on the line could easily be your teaching license if there are testing irregularities. In writing I have already pointed out many irregularities with their current disorganized set up and they were politely read and blown off.
So what would you do?
Show up Tuesday and the run the high risk of a testing irregularity essentially hurting your teaching certificate.
Call in sick and let them just deal with the mess they have created, protect yourself.
Or another alternative that I am not seeing because I am too close and too angered by the situation.