Essays in Education


The purpose of this article is to share the results of a study that explored the perspective of teachers who teach in high transient elementary schools. Interviews were conducted with eleven veteran teachers who each had a minimum of 19 years teaching experience. All the teachers were teaching in the Rock Hill School District, which borders the western edge of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The interviews explored issues relating to mobility of the student body, the relationship between mobility and classroom environment, mobility and instructional adaptations, and parental support. The data reveals that three major themes emerged as significant throughout the veteran teachers' in-depth interviews. The issues of behavior and weak academic foundations were referred to consistently; yet, the most noted response was the loss of instructional time. These data suggest that these three themes are inter-related in that transient students with low skills are frequently viewed as behavioral problems who in turn take up teacher's attention, thus taking away instructional time from the entire class.

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