I touched on this briefly in the “Where I Work” post, but so many people were interested in my going more into detail about the place that I decided to write more about the parts of the school I find really interesting.  I’ll start off with discussing the morning and afternoon meetings.

When students arrive in the morning they are greeted by staff several times.  The principal, school director, and a teacher stand outside of the front door and speak to each student as he or she walks up to the building.  Next they are greeted by our SRO (school resource officer) and the teacher assigned to the metal detector (we rotate) as they enter the building and are searched (I know how some of you feel about this, but with our population, it is absolutely necessary). Students are then sent directly into our all-purpose room (the school is too small for an auditorium) where those who need it get breakfast and others sit and chat.  The noise level is relatively low for 250 students in one room, and the remaining staff circulates among the students striking up conversations, discussing school of family issues, and making sure everyone is in compliance with school norms (shirts tucked in, pants pulled up, belts on, shoes tied, jewelry off, etc).  This is very important for new staff because this is where they begin to form relationships with difficult students outside of the classroom setting.  Ten minutes before classes begin we have our morning meeting.  This is where we discuss an issues for the day (test reminders, behavior issues from the day before, and general announcements).  Students line up with their first class teacher and go upstairs.

Fifteen minutes before the school day ends classes are lined up and taken back into our all purpose room.  Teachers again circulate and speak to individual students while we wait for the meeting to begin.  Once everyone is there, the teachers go around the room and discuss how the day went.  We point out classes that had particular issues (though for negatives we try not to name names unless it’s absolutely necessary).  Mostly we point out the class groups that are working well together, and we give shout outs to students who have worked really hard or have gotten a high grade on a test (everyone claps for them).  Those students are the first to leave and do not have to stay for detention if their class has earned one (as at least one class has daily). 

Though these meetings take time away from instruction, I have found them to be extremely useful in getting to know my students and quickly identifying and correcting issues that might arise before or after school.  Since we’re all surrogate parents, we need as much interaction with our students as possible, both in and out fo the classroom.  We also eat lunch with them, which can be exhausting when you’re having a bad day, but it’s definitely beneficial to the students.


5 Responses to “Meetings”

  1. October 8, 2007 at 9:58 am

    This is so contrary to my schooling that I guess I would just have to experience it to really appreciate it. I like the part where the teachers interact with the students more. When I was in school, the teachers always went to the teachers lounge and holed up until their next class.

  2. 2 unitedwelay1
    October 8, 2007 at 10:19 am

    The teachers at our school don’t get a break. We have 1 hour for prep/lunch, but we are with the students every other minute. We don’t have a teacher’s lounge. We don’t have computers in our rooms. I like being able to talk to my students several times a day outside of the classroom setting. It take sus all off our guard given the kinds of kids we work with, and we get a lot of personal information about our students. Education is about having a personal relatinship with the people you teach. You’re molding their minds, so you have to know how they think to be able to reach them.

  3. October 10, 2007 at 10:02 am

    You are a real teacher. Compared to you, I can now realize my past career as a educator was spent as a mercenary.

  4. October 13, 2007 at 7:19 am

    Sounds like their going to jail!!!

  5. 5 unitedwelay1
    October 13, 2007 at 7:38 am

    We’re all real teachers, some of us just choose to work witha different population of students. ‘ll neverbe able to keep this up. I can do it into my 40’s at the most, but after tha I won’t be physically able to teach these kids. I love my job, and I always knew I wanted to work with kids like this. It’s exhausting, but when I see them graduate and start productive lives, it’ll be worth it.

    They’ve been in jail. Now we have them.

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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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