Toolkit for “School-to-Prison Pipeline Infographic”


This is just too vague

Submitted by Anonymous on 30 January 2013 - 11:20pm.

You manage to be quite clear about what the punitive teacher does, but your suggestions of what to do differently are so very vague. The "Shifts" are also huge generalizations. Real teachers in real classrooms need examples of real language. How do you propose that a teachers with a class of impoverished kids, when 20 of the 25 present display disruptive behaviors?

Too Vague

Submitted by Anonymous on 12 May 2013 - 7:02am.

Teaching is not easy today. As a case manager in the social work field, an important ethic is the separation of social work and law enforcement. As a child I was one of those disruptive kids. I was smart but not motivated. I will never forget my 6th grade teacher. She met me where I was at. She saw that I loved to read, so she let me go to the library anytime I wanted to. My behavior started to change, and I was out of class. She let me have this privilege so long as my behavior was appropriate and my homework was done, I was always passing the tests already. I say this not in a bragging way but I was a classroom disaster. She took a lot of flack for giving me that privilege. One day I realized this teacher really cared that I learn.

My third grade teacher made my entire class spend the whole day spelling the word "success", we all got it wrong on a spelling test. She took flack from the principal and some of the parents until she told them "this word is so important to them, I never wanted any of them to spell this word wrong again." They were thinking of getting rid of her but my class rebelled,we let our parents know and those who could not come to school called the school. We kept our teacher. Today I have grown from a disaster to a pastor.
Now my first grade teacher is another story. I didn't finish kindergarten because my family had moved farther away from the school. Upon arriving to my new school without even testing my teacher did not believe when I told her I already knew how to read. The kids who did not know how to read were given Tom, Dick, and Sally while the kids who could read were given a much thicker hardbound book. She humiliated me in front of the whole implying how could I possibly know how read. I flipped out. When I say flipped I mean I was having a fit fighting the other kids, swinging chairs. The Guidance Counselor was called. She would not let me speak until I calmed down. I told her what happened, she tested me and saw I could read. She grabbed up took me back to the class and blasted that teacher in front of the whole class. You use the word impoverished instead of poor while referring to these children. The different thing to do is very simple, stop seeing your student's weaknesses and problems and start showing them their strengths.

Thank you for these comments

Submitted by Anonymous on 13 August 2014 - 10:50am.

I too had this sort of experience in school! I had both types of teachers and I am now a community college teacher. I reflect often on what worked with me and made me feel like I mattered and what made me feel like I was less than other children or other people. I teach mostly young women now who have often made some poor life choices and were probably those disruptive students in K-12 classes if they wentto school, and those who did went to some sort of alternative. I have worked with the punitive model of instructor and watched the damage that can do and the number of good students who can be lost to that style of teaching. My own style is much like what was described in this article. Please know it takes more time, sometimes causes heartache and frustration, however it will pay off sometimes in a huge way and change a students life! I have been teaching for close to 30 years and it has taken me many years to find the right strategies and I am constantly learning by listening, paying attention, being respectful to people who may not understand what that means and being forgiving; all the while being strong, demanding much and showing compassion.

IS this article too vague? It is just the beginning it is up to us to flesh it out and be willing to change and adapt!