I know I’m spoilt. I know that most of my previous schools where exceptional, esp. in the pedagogic approach (IB schools in particular). But I wasn’t prepared for this.
I’m at a high school in a very socially challenged area. The school form, a less academic secondary school, is threatened with closure, the school deals with being understaffed. The students come from a variety of backgrounds, but mainly families with little educational background (and interest), unemployment and more often than one would like see (not that we want to see this at all) major problems such as abuse, etc.
I teach grades 5, 7, 8 and 9. The upper grades were my main worry, but to be honest, they seem fine. What really shocked me is…. that grade 5 is full of kids with no natural curiosity… with a fully loaded hatred for school and everything that goes with it. A grade full of kids that think that learning is “stupid”.
Where do you go from there? How do you hook these kids? How do not end up in the “open your books on page 5” dilema?
That’s another thing… all my other classes have been trained to “work by the book”,…. how do you open this up?