Student Teaching: Creston High School
Hole, Christine E.
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Creston H1gh School 1s one of the four publ1c high schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It 1s a large, Class A school w1th an enrollment of approximately 1500 students. Since Creston is a publ1c h1gh school in a large city, the student body 1s very diverse: there are students from all socio-economic, ethniC, and rel1g1ous backgrounds. A fair percentage of the students are col1ege-bound, but the majority are not. Furthermore, many of the students have parents who are very unsupport1ve of the educational process: many of the students are not encouraged to succeed in hIgh school, or for that matter, to even attend school. There Is also a substantIal population of students wIth h1stor1es of drug and alcohol abuse, and even a few who have crim1nal records. As to be expected in such an envIronment, many students are discip11nary problems as well. In the past few years, Creston, as well as the ent1re school system, has experienced a great deal of change in terms of the administration. A few years ago, a new super1ntendent decIded to "clean house" and get r1d of the admInistratIve staff at each of the hIgh schools, feel1ng that many of them had been 1n one part1cular school for too long and were becom1ng stagnant. PrIor to that t1me, Creston was fortunate to have a very competent adm1n1strative staff who cooperated with the teachers, 2 especially concerning discipline problems. The new admin1stration at Creston tends to be very lax concerning discipline) and they have repeatedly sided with students in the event of student-teacher confrontations. Morale among the teaching staff is low) although it is better now than a few years ago. I chose Creston for my student teaching experience for a number of reasons. Since my parents l1ve in Grand Rapids, I was able to l1ve at home and thereby greatly reduce my f1nanc1al expences. Also, I had graduated from Creston and was qu 1t e f am 111 ar w 1t h the procedures of the schoo 1. I had a great deal of respect for the teachers) and I thought that 1t would be a chal1enging exper1ence to teach at a school w1th such a d1verse student populat1on. Furthermore, as a student I participated in many sports at Creston, and I was offered the position of returning as the freshman volleyball coach.