Photo: Old Shoe Woman
by Deborah Juarez
Editor’s Note: This story is published in We’Ced Youth Magazine Issue #3
“You’re taking Algebra Readiness this year,” said my school counselor.
My face turned pale. I’m going to start my freshman year of high school taking Algebra Readiness? I’d taken Algebra 1 last year in the 8th grade. I never felt so dumb in my life.
My counselor said there was nothing I could do to fix my problem. My father even came to the office to talk to my school, but the best they could do was put me into Algebra 1 again because, according to them, without it I wouldn’t be able to pass the next level class, Geometry.
[pullquote_right]Having substitute teachers can create confusion for students, and it happens frequently. According to a 2012 study conducted by the Center for American Progress, 36 percent of teachers nationally were absent more than 10 days during the 2009-10 school year.[/pullquote_right]
At some point in the course of all this, my 8th grade Algebra teachers faces — almost all of my Algebra teachers that year were substitute teachers — popped up in my head.
I wasn’t the only one who didn’t pass Algebra that year. Paola, a friend of mine, had to retake Algebra 1 her freshmen year, too. As I looked back at my 8th grade year in Rivera Middle School, it seemed as if substitute teachers had taken over our Algebra 1 class. In my approximation, the total number of substitute teachers in my Algebra 1 class from October until the end of the school year was between 5 and 7.
Mrs. Quisenberry was our original Algebra 1 teacher. When she left, it was hard for students to adjust to every single substitute teacher’s different teaching style, especially for such a long period of time. There was a long-term substitute teacher by the name of Mr. Gonzales who was our teacher for half of the year.
Having substitute teachers can create confusion for students, and it happens frequently. According to a 2012 study conducted by the Center for American Progress, 36 percent of teachers nationally were absent more than 10 days during the 2009-10 school year. The findings are based on an analysis of 56,837 elementary, middle and high schools.