Classroom Management Strategies and other Teacher Worthy Ideas
I spent my last 10 years of full time teaching in a Title 1 school. Depending upon grant fund availability each year, our children received help in Speech, Reading Comprehension, Math strategy skills, etc. The vast majority of our students also received breakfast and free/reduced lunch. We seemed to always receive students who had little or no understanding of basic Reading Comprehension skills, for instance. Of course, their home environment contributed a lot to this low level of school preparation or completion homework. The ESEA and other programs provided funding to help these children.
Our staff tried so many different ways to get help for these children and even visited their homes to reinforce what we were trying to do. (Yes, I did that a couple of times over my years at this school.) We tried to have parent/teacher conferences in their apartment complex. We provided hot dogs and chips as a “come-on.” The children were sent for the free food and NO PARENTS arrived at all! Talk about frustrated!
My last year of teaching in this school, I had students tell me that they couldn’t go outside after dinner because of gun shots and gang wars around their apartment complex. It broke my heart! In that same complex, I had children from homes who had plans to “get out” because they wanted to be safer and wanted their children to attend schools that were a positive influence upon their families.
Of course, Federal Funding can’t solve these neighborhood problems that affect our students. I know that!
So, what’s a parent to do? Well, the proposed bill, HR 610, will provide vouchers for these same children to attend other schools that can include religious schools, specialized schools for Autism children, and other types. I believe there are many reasons to use these vouchers to benefit the child and the parents.
Unfortunately, it may mean that some teachers may lose their jobs because of lower student population.
Now here’s my question:
Are we teachers because we try to provide the very best life skills and education to our students or are we in this job because it’s relatively safe and can last for many years because of Tenure?
Here’s a link to one of my favorite blogs, comprehensionconnection.net. She gives some very strong examples of why ESEA dollars should be extended. She sites several realistic cases which may not be available if this funding is stopped. What do you think?