Why Precisely Do Teachers Leave High Poverty Schools?

Why Precisely Do Teachers Leave High Poverty Schools?.

Recently, I participated in a 9 minute podcast, via BAM Radio Network, with host Larry Ferlazzo, an inner-city High School teacher. Mr. Paul Bruno, a middle school teacher in Los Angeles, California, and I discussed the following topic: Why do teachers avoid, or leave, high poverty public schools? It was an engaging discussion. This earlier post inspired the podcast.


2 thoughts on “Why Precisely Do Teachers Leave High Poverty Schools?

  1. First, Middle School is tougher. If I thought I had a hard day in high school, I’d drive an extra block past my house and watch the middle school being dismissed with the gangbangers and their Rottweillers picking up their “Baby Gs” and remember my sophomores are a breeze by comparion.

    Every year, our top teachers would be recruited to magnet schools and eventually they’d be worn down and they’d leave. Before agreeing to go to the magnet schools, almost every one beat themselves up, often crying themselves to sleep at night and enduring headaches, blaming themselves for thinking about leaving. They were always exhausted when they agreed to leave.

    I believe I was good at handling stress. My last two years, however, every time I was covered with a student’s blood, I started getting sick at my stomach. (Its weird how my forearms could be completely covered and yet only one little drop on my sleeve … or the time the victim kept snorting blood in my face … or the kid I just rescued from a beating in the hall, staggering and losing consciousness …)

    Yet, all discipline problems were due to teachers’ “low expectations.” My last Quarter, five teachers were assaulted or targets of an attempted assault, with one being hospitalized. Guess who was blamed? How was it that all five brought it on themselves?

    Regarding meetings, when we started Professional Learning Community meetings we loved it. But, the system kept tightening the rules. NO discussion of discipline was allowed. Eventually, they made assistant principals attend all PLCs to make sure there were no complaints about discipline. Of course, that took the APs away from the job they should have been doing, addressing the mayhem in the halls.

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