Omid Memarian- Unlike most other classes in McClaymonds High School, Mr. Williams’ class had its door ajar, the noise fidgeting through the hallway in lieu of the students. Pacing by the door, Mr. Williams was busy negotiating with three students who were insisting on an early departure, while three boys in the left corner laughed loudly, giving each other high fives. A tall girl in a red T-shirt was arranging her braids in the mirror on the wall behind Mr. Williams, while a couple students were making a headstart on their newly assigned math homework, oblivious of the ensuing chaos.
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Although not an ideal setting for learning, at least these students had the luxury of a substitute teacher. Often when teachers are unable to make it to school, students are dispersed to other classes. Schools throughout Oakland have problems in hiring and keeping substitute teachers, and according to some educators, this problem is exaggerated in West Oakland due to its high poverty rate.
“Students don’t have medical care, dental care and have a lot of issues associated with poverty,” said Betty Olson-Jones, Director of Oakland Education Association. “West Oakland is not separate from the rest of Oakland, just that sometimes there are substitutes who don’t want to go to West Oakland because the problems are greater. Same thing in East Oakland. Schools are very under-funded.” Consequently, teaching is not the only thing substitute teachers have to worry about.
During the last years, keeping subs efficient within the school systems has been a challenge for Oakland schools. The major problems for substitute teachers in Oakland include difficulties of providing lesson plans, financials problems, lack of support from the principals’ support, difficult students and schools. But when it comes to west Oakland, difficulties seem greater. Read more
December 25, 2007 Leave a Comment
December 4, 2007 Leave a Comment