Substitute teaching – the pits

I had taught two years in private schools and decided to substitute in public schools. I went through the paperwork hassle and then to an interview. I was told not to expect school to be the way it was when I was young (prophetic words).

My first job was at Dunbar in Washing­ton D.C., which many years ago had an excellent reputation. The head office had an apathetic atmosphere, with the staff going through the motions. The bell rang for the first class and students traipsed into my classroom. Others stuck their heads in to make loud comments. I took roll with some difficulty and started a lesson getting minor cooperation. The lesson worked into liberal and conservative comparisons which they found interesting and said they wanted me back. The bell rang. There was a lot of jostling and fooling around between classes. Some students looked strung out on drugs.

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