Yup! Today was my first time visiting a public high school school during school hours. It was quite interesting and definitely different from my educational background. A lot of the stereotypes that people associate with the public high schools definitely proved to be true.
When we arrived to the school, the principal was very welcoming and excited that we were there! We went to a classroom where we were able to ask him questions about the application process and about the school. What was interesting that he mentioned was that compared to the other public high schools, theirs require the lowest minimum, which can explain the work ethic of some of the students I saw today. Unfortunately, the teachers did not know we were coming, and I experienced some unwelcoming tones and facial expressions. My host student was shy, but I think we bonded quite nicely because we both shared similar interests in business and cosmetology. I wish I would have been able to stay longer to go with my host student to her cosmetology class! *sigh*
My host student’s day, which became my day:
1st Period: Algebra 2: The teacher was not very welcoming and had a certain negative attitude about why I was there. I was able to ignore it and not react and just do what I really came to do. The teacher was an African American lady who looked as though she was in her late 40s-early 50s. All she did was problems on the board, and gave a worksheet, that they did in class. There was no homework given. There was only one young lady in the class who just was not interested at all, but for the most part, the children answered her questions, but in a tone to just get it over with.
2nd Period: English: They were working on Allusions based on a Zora Neale Hurston book. I liked that the activities and books they were reading and around the room were from African American authors. This is good when it comes to relating to the children. The girls were very talkative in this one class, and there was also one young lady who would just blurt out the answer to everything without giving others a chance. At one point, I could tell some would not even try because they knew she would answer. The students would also curse in class, and I really was taken-aback by that!The teacher was an African American female who probably was in her late 20s-early 30s. She never corrected the kids when they would use derogatory terms.
3rd Period: History: Taught by a white male, he was very helpful, and I think that played a part in the students liking him. He didn’t necessarily give them the answer, but he made sure they understood why the answer was what it was.
A few things I noticed across the board: There was no urgency from the students to get to class. They showed up late, and there were no consequences on the spot or acknowledgement of there arrival time. Teachers could have at least said something after class or something! Another thing I noticed was that cell phone use was an extreme issue! Technology is really going to ruin the public school education of children. They already don’t want to be there, and cell phones don’t help because their attention is strictly on the phone. One girl was on Instagram THE WHOLE CLASS! For a 1 hour straight! High schools can’t really use Midtown Academy’s approach of taking phones at the beginning of the day just because high schoolers need to learn how to be more responsible, but there has to be a better way! Another thing I noticed was that pregnancy was almost like a normalcy. Some of my classmates told me that students even asked them if they had kids. I saw one pregnant girl, and one other girl was screaming in the hallway about how she hates needles because she was poked with them so many times during her pregnancy. I also noticed and was told that homework was rarely given. They pretty much do all work in the classroom.
I can go on and on about the negatives of my visit. All in all, I enjoyed myself! It was new to me being that I grew up in private, Catholic schools my WHOLE life! I’m even in a private school now! I really enjoyed my student host. She went to a private school before attending the high school which explained to me why her work ethic was really good, and how conservative she was.