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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not Mister Rogers' Neighborhood…

In four years of subbing, I’ve subbed at this school on only three previous occasions. It’s one of the farthest schools in the district from my house. It’s considered one of the more, let’s just say, “troubled” areas of town.

Mister Rogers' neighborhood it’s not. This impression was reinforced in yesterday’s 2nd grade class. The assignment was a Social Studies lesson on the differences between a neighborhood, community and a town.

Suggestion Example: A “neighborhood” is made of families who live next door (neighbors), in the same apartment building, on the same street, or send their kids to the same school. People in the “neighborhood” might get to know each other by having 4th of July BBQ’s, neighborhood cleanup days, football parties or back to school night at the local school.

Prompt: “Ask the kids about activities that happen in their neighborhood”

Here’s the short list, before I cut them off, of some neighborhood “activities” that they experience in their neighborhood: car accidents, robbery, fire in the back yard (arson), stolen car (multiple), car break-ins, car vandalism, car fire (intentional) and two murders.

I tried to steer them back to examples of “positive” activities, but no one came up with anything other than one birthday party “bounce house” that some uninvited neighborhood kids asked to play in.

(This was also one of the toughest assignments, behavior wise, I’ve had in a long time.)

1 comment:

Sladed said...

It's ashame it went this way for you. And too bad the kids are stuck in that situation. If you're an idealist and committed to making a difference you might choose to go back to that school often. But given the meager pay and limited impact you can have as a substitute, the payoff is certainly limited. It's very tough to want to choose to go there when the behavior is bad.