Below are several selections from the Social Context Project report authored by David Eddy, PTE graduate spring 2004. Note the narrative formulation of this report. Other teacher candidates would do well to emulate this form.
Interview #9 Assistant Principal
The morning that I met the assistant principal, the students were having discipline assemblies. A discipline assembly is a half an hour set aside at the beginning of the semester where the students get refreshed of the school rules and general discipline issues. When asked about when to send kids to the office and when to deal with situations inside the classroom, he told me of a number of school policies. First of all, all teachers are required to submit a classroom management plan, which needs to be approved. Most of the time, these plans follow what is laid out in the student handbook under level one offence. Teachers then handle all of these offences and should never be sent to the main office. However, when a level two or higher offence occurs, the student should be sent to the office. In fact, if level one offence occurs often, or the student refuses to stop the offending behavior, then the offence becomes a level two offence and that student is sent to the office. For the most part however, the teacher is responsible for all minor issues and should be illustrated in the class rules. The largest infraction that occurs at X high school is the use of headphones and CD players in school. In the classroom, the largest problem is lack of preparation for class like bringing books and pencils. Furthermore, a student will often disrespect a teacher. Most of the time the offence is of level one quality and when confronted by the teacher gets resolved. His largest piece of advice was not to loose my temper as a teacher. It is a sign of weakness and the students will feed off of it. He said not to take what the students say personally since they do not see you as a person, rather as a teacher. Aside from being an assistant principal he is also the athletic director for the seniors.
Interview #10 School Nurse
There is a school nurse, however, due to budget, she is only available for three days a week. Otherwise, the attendance personnel or guidance personnel take care of the students. For emergencies, the nurse is called in however. That is a relief. Classrooms are set up with fluid containment kits should the need arise. The students are not allowed to self-medicate accordingto the school handbook. However, I cannot imagine that neither the attendance ladies nor the guidance counselors are certified to administer medication. I will have to look into that.
Interview #11 School Guidance Counselors
The ladies in the guidance office seemed to me a little inapproachable. I can remember guidance counselors being nice and friendly. They did have a wide range of duties ranging from contacting parents, student fines, student records, the gear up program, student id’s, transcripts, etc. I am to refer a student to the office when they are in need of one of the services that the counselors told me about. I was more interested in finding out about when I should refer a student if I notice any mental or emotional troubles, but the counselor was strictly business. We did talk about college visits for some time. It is organized so that college representatives come to the school and the students sign up for a time to meet with them. If interest in a school is continued, I do not believe that the school provides means to visit the college. I would understand a school not providing means to visit Harvard or something like that but I would imagine a visit to a school like ISU would motivate students to go to college.
Interview #12 Special Education Personnel
There were a total of four onsite special education personnel. There are two floaters and two people who stay in the special education office. The floaters go from room to room through out the school whenever they are needed. They may be contacted if a student needs assistance while taking an exam or doing an activity and they will arrive in the room and help. Their services are only really required for those students who have regular contact with their office. The two
teachers in the office stay there in order to assist with homework or other assignments. It seems that there is very little organization about the whole thing, but that is just my first impression. I did not hear anything from [from my cooperating teacher] about contacting them for any of the students in her class so I do not imagine that I will have very much contact with the special education personnel. However, it will be nice to contact them and use them as a resource when I am working with a student who has a difficult time reading, or a student who has a difficult time taking tests. They are always open to questions and open to offering advice as to how to best help the student in a situation where they are handicapped in some way.