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Coping with dismissal of a teacher mid-semester?


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I'm a Junior at Highschool, and after many complains of bad teaching from students and parents, they dismissed our Chemistry teacher mid-semester. (Finals are next week).

I agree that her teaching practices were bad, and she wasn't doing a good job at teaching the content to the students. There's no new chemistry teacher lined up and we will probably bounce from substitute to substitute flunking as we go.

For today (this being the first day) me and another student taught class (since the sub didn't know the content). This worked fine, and people understood the content (Even though the ex-teacher tried to explain it multiple times to no avail).

However: This isn't going to work out. There are multiple chemistry classes and we can't teach in that those (And I don't know if anyone in those classes would be able to step up and teach it). We could probably assign homework (As far as our class) and use the book as a lesson plan, and even correct the work but I don't know if they (the school) would count those grades as valid and put them into the grade book.

This still doesn't work with the other classes so...

What should the general plan of attack be?

Should we try to get the teacher back (If she's willing to change her teaching practices)?

Should we let the school bounce us from sub to sub and try and keep the class afloat with student teaching? (Which only works until we can't figure out the content)

Has anyone had this happen before/have any insight?

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Had a similar experience in High School. Our Dean of Students retired mid-school-year and my chem teacher at the time took the job. He was replaced with a sort of permanent substitute for the rest of the year that was giving it an honest go, but couldn't connect with the students. Students started coming to me for help in the class. I seemed to be the only one that actually got along with the new teacher, so I pretty much acted as a proxy between him and the rest of the students; he would still teach the class, he would have me offer clarifications to what he was saying and do after school help sessions with the rest of the students.

Specific to your situation; I don't think you're going to get that teacher back with new teaching habbits. Not without somebody holding her hand and jumping on her during class (eg: assistant/student teacher). Your best bet is to try and get a sort of permanent substitute. When my Calculus teacher had to leave mid-semester during my senior year of high school due to her pregnancy, she was replaced a permanent sub for the rest of the year; a college student (math major). I'd tell your school to go for that. Try and find a college chemistry student that's looking to make a few extra bucks, and have them teach, and then offer after school help. In my experience, bouncing from sub to sub is not going to work. That's what happened in junior high school to my History teacher. She had to leave due to a pregnancy and was replaced with different subs every day. It's a clusterfuck because the subs to sync with each other. Sure, you have somebody in the room watching the students, but none of the information syncs in because the subs (try as they may) will never be in sync with each other. The only way the sub to sub routine will work is if there's only a week left of class. Then it's not that big of a deal, since the majority of the information on the finals will have come from the previous teacher anyway (and while she may have sucked, at least the source of information was consistent).

It's a touch situation, but in all the substitute situations I've gone through in my academic career, the permanent sub that actually knows what the hell they're talking about works best. Just make sure there's an offering of after school help.

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Specific to your situation; I don't think you're going to get that teacher back with new teaching habbits. Not without somebody holding her hand and jumping on her during class (eg: assistant/student teacher).

Yeah school's too poor for that one. :P

Your best bet is to try and get a sort of permanent substitute. When my Calculus teacher had to leave mid-semester during my senior year of high school due to her pregnancy, she was replaced a permanent sub for the rest of the year; a college student (math major). I'd tell your school to go for that. Try and find a college chemistry student that's looking to make a few extra bucks, and have them teach, and then offer after school help. In my experience, bouncing from sub to sub is not going to work. That's what happened in junior high school to my History teacher. She had to leave due to a pregnancy and was replaced with different subs every day. It's a clusterfuck because the subs to sync with each other. Sure, you have somebody in the room watching the students, but none of the information syncs in because the subs (try as they may) will never be in sync with each other.

Yeah until we scare them off... It's not like our school is bad kids/special ed... Were just not traditional. We're lucky if we can get a sub (who attempts to teach) for more than a week.

The only way the sub to sub routine will work is if there's only a week left of class. Then it's not that big of a deal, since the majority of the information on the finals will have come from the previous teacher anyway (and while she may have sucked, at least the source of information was consistent).

Except it wasn't. She didn't even teach each class the same information (Or assign the same homework, etc <-- And then she'd try to collect class B's homework in class A, etc)

It's a touch situation, but in all the substitute situations I've gone through in my academic career, the permanent sub that actually knows what the hell they're talking about works best. Just make sure there's an offering of after school help.

There's already after school help from a chem major, because people were having issues before. I don't think loading two or three complete classes on him is going to help.

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it seems like you need to step up ned and volounteer yourself to do the extra work.

Pros.

1. It will look extra good on your resume.

2. You'll earn some extra cash.

3. You'll get an A in chemistry (well earned A as well).

4. You'll be popular and everyone will love you.

Cons.

1. You wont have much spare time.

2. Its a huge responsibility. (but dont let this deter you, people will be understanding seeing as you are just a student yourself.)

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What?! I doubt he'd actually get hired by the school to teach the class he's supposed to be in... What credentials does he have for teaching? None, he's a student. It may be all peachy now for a few days while he is offering a sub help who doesn't know what is going on(I did that a few times in high school too), but it wouldn't last, especially if he were to be hired on as the teacher... There is simply nothing he could do to maintain control of a classroom, he is their peer. The lack of respect and ability to control is already bad enough with a substitute, a student would command even less. A teacher needs to be a figure of authority. A peer in highschool is not a figure of authority.

Whoever made the decision to fire the chem teacher without considering a replacement should be kicked in the head. The only excuse I can see for such an action would be GROSS misconduct, like having a relationship with a student or physically abusing a student. Incompetence is not something that is revealed 'all of a sudden', its not like she was a good teacher then all of a sudden sucked. Even if everyone started complaining all at once, the administration should have had the good sense to know that even though she may be getting an inadequate amount of work done, it is still more than a string of substitutes could accomplish. Keep her there until you can find a suitable replacement.

Sorry, I date a highschool english teacher and my roommate is a highschool history teacher.. I hear about the dynamics of highschool constantly.

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I'm not saying its impossible, just nearly :).

Its a significant challenge to command respect of teenagers, and many teachers fail at it. It's a different kind of respect, not earned but imposed. Respect in the sense of "respect my authority", to quote Cartman :D

A teacher needs the students to know they are in command and control of the classroom, disobeying will result in serious and immediate consequences. But at the same time a teacher shouldn't be a dictator in the classroom, then students could become resentful and disinterested.. its a fine line. Can't be their friend, and can't be their enemy. Being older and more knowledgeable gives a head start in commanding this respect.

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I think the teacher was really doomed from the start.... Day one of class, she was ignoring the students questions, not answering questions (beating around the bush), etc... Students lost all respect for her.

Then the school tried to help her and she half improved (Before quickly going back to the old ways) and the students wouldn't listen to her anymore due to lack of respect.

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