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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gypsy Teacher Adds to Darla's Travel Guide

Gypsy Teacher, who's been  aroamin' some herself, made these additions to Darla's ATR Travel Guide.

I started my travels at Tottenville High School in Staten Island. Great school. Great kids. Teachers and staff were very helpful. Street parking is available but try to get there early (before 7:30). I love this school! Oh, and they have a store in the school where you can buy coffee, drinks, lunch etc.

Next school was Brooklyn Latin. I was quite upset when I first got this assignment since it is so far from where I live (the school is on the border of Williamsburg and Bushwick) but once you get there it's wonderful. Very small, very young staff but everyone is very helpful. Since it was such a small school I was used in the main office and as a lunch monitor. The kids all wear uniforms and there are no discipline problems. Another great school. 

What can I say about the School of International Studies in Brooklyn? Not much. They use the ATRs as "monitors" for their "mediation" (detention) room. The first day was easy since there was only one quiet boy in the in-house suspension. The next day two boys who had fought were placed in the room together. They were there for the next 3 days. They didn't seem to be bad boys but the teachers didn't give them enough work (some didn't give any) to occupy their time so they basically played around. Were they punished? I don't think so. The week got more interesting when teachers started sending down their disruptive students. So they basically played around with the other "punishees". I felt like the one being punished. The APs seemed to have blinders on and no one came to help me when I was having a problem--like the boy who threw rocks out the window and his parents refused to pick him up.  

Did I mention that most of the problems were with the middle school?  Some high school students were suspended but they never showed to in house. Lucky me! The school is from 6-12 and it is a small school. TG! I can't imagine the behavior problems if the school were large. 

The School of International Studies shares the building with another small school, The School of Global Studies. The students wear uniforms but as I can see from the cafeteria, the behavior of those students didn't seem well-monitored, with students running and screaming throughout the day. Anyway,  I couldn't wait for the week to end. The school is in Cobble Hill and the parking is HORRIBLE. Get there around 7 and hope someone pulls out to go to work.

I spent the last week at the first high school I ever taught in, Grady, in Brooklyn. Parking is fine on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, but you have to drive around on Tuesday and Friday. I am slightly biased toward this school since I know most of the staff. They were all welcoming to me and I really love the principal (not everyone does because she is a no-nonsense woman who wants order). The classes I covered were a bit loud and most every boy had his pants around his knees but I didn't feel threatened. The school is relatively small and clean. I covered the same classes for most of the week and there was a problem with other students trying to sneak into the room. The principal took care of them. All in all I wouldn't have minded staying another week. Oh, and they have a wonderful little cafe run by the Culinary Program. Coffee and full lunch for $ can't beat that.

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