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    By sue d.

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    If you truly are pondering whether or not to go back to grad school, you need to be in a healthy situation. When you are stressed out writing papers and getting in all of the little busy-work assignments in for a master's degree, you will not have the patience or strength to deal with kids acting the way in which you describe yours.

    I have taught for eight years successfully. Four years teaching 3rd grade in a middle class district, two in a mixed, and two now in another state, the most wealthy, white district ever-- have taught me that as much as I hate to say it, the kids whose parents are involved are indeed easier to teach. The well-off children also have the tax money power behind their schools so that class sizes are small. I have 21 here, with parents to help out any time called on. Whether doctors, lawyers or diplomats, these parents make the time to get to school for activities and meetings. If I need them to send in items, they are here in abundance. When I need a child to get extra help with a subject, tutors are hired.

    Snobby sounding? There are several teachers each year in our district who leave to teach in the nearby inner city. They always regret their decision. As noble as it sounds, you have to be as tough as a nail to survive without insanity in places of poverty and hardship. Education is the key to those children's future, but without parents to support them, the job is unsuccessful most of the time. The behavior makes the learning environment chaotic if not dangerous. I have thought about leaving to help those truly in need myself. With going back to get my Ph.D., trying to have a life outside of school, and to keep my sanity, I have decided to let those who are truly meant to be there do the job.

    Good luck.

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