If I’d had decent mentoring, I might have stayed with teaching. One of my master teachers was wonderful, but he was promoted to run another program in another state, and I no longer had his input in dealing with the ESEA classes I inherited from him. (1966, California.) I was transferred to a new school the next year and that was a disaster. I was so young the students not in my classes thought I was one of them and some colleagues didn’t want me in the teacher’s lounge until I proved I was a teacher.

The seniors I’d had the year before at least cared about graduating. Not so the sophomores I had in my second year. No training I had prepared me for those “students” who hated English before they walked in. Many were absent frequently to appear in court. I had no support from administration.

I asked a male teacher who had the same students for social studies how he managed. He said he’d take the disruptive students to the steps of the bungalow that served as his classroom and cuss them out. Not exactly my style. He had tenure. Our bungalows had no phone connection to the office.

Tests were often disrupted by students setting fires in the restrooms so that everyone would have to leave the building. I’m sure that conditions have probably gotten worse now. The only thing I treasure about those years are the relationships I still have with some of my former students from the first school.

I have to admire you for sticking with it.

Christian, bereaved adoptive mom, blogger, amateur nature photographer, voracious reader. Married 54 years. Central Coast of California. https://barbrad.com

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