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DISORDERS in a CLASSROOM or a Firsthand Account of Substitute Teaching in the Chicago Public Schools

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Janice Hypolite has done a service for substitute teachers.  When they read her book they will realize they are not alone.  They will recognize the same problems that she faced.She gives sufficient evidence and an accurate picture of the chaos in school after school.      It’s not only in huge districts like Chicago Public Schools, but endemic in classrooms around the country.  Discipline is difficult for many reasons.  Students are disrespectful, (even college professors complain about it), apathetic, and angry – as are many of the parents.  The substitute is seen as fair game by students and too often they are not given help from the staff. Documentation, like she did, is very important in assessing a student’s behavior, but his consequences should be appropriate to the infraction. Administrators who are supposed to be the enforcers and supporters of the teachers are often as powerless and offer minimal help..            Janice was poorly trained, never given any on-the-job training, and she had the common misconceptions that most people have when they are older and get into teaching.          As a Supervising Teacher I love getting people like Janice.  She has heart and intelligence (teaching is an art and science) and has an invaluable wealth of successful personal life experiences. I take their experiences and help them use them to discover their Teaching Style.          To her credit she does have passion and the courage to show that all the problems of any large government controlled entity results in the powerlessness of those who are most accountable for whatever the task. It would be hilarious - if it weren’t so tragic.  I subbed for a few months in two large, very different districts in the mid-Sixties before I got permanent positions.    I was a Pied Piper. I will share some of my methods that culminated into the Self-Sustaining Classroom.

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