A school that has history, this school was established in 1867 and went public in 1888. Looking at RRHS when you first pull up seems like a descent size school with a modest old look. When you drive around the school it is expanded out much like a junior college and has a college feeling. There are 11 buildings on this campus not including their football field, track, marching band pad, baseball field and the amount of parking for both students and staff. Parking is amazing at this school. Plenty of parking for staff and faculty in front of the main building as well as plenty in the back of the building. Student parking is separated from the staff and faculty parking and plenty of it to go around for the students. All parking lots are nicely paved, with proper markings for all cars to park in with no confusion. Neighborhood around the school is a safe environment, no 2nd or 3rd tier living conditions around this school. Sanitation around the school is well kept and no loitering of strangers around the school.
Security precautions are pretty normal throughout the school, teachers keeping eyes on the hallways, local police car parked in staff parking lot. However there was no sign of any Police officers on campus. There are security cameras mounted on top of the buildings leading in and out of each building. Outside of new buildings on this campus are all surrounded by windows so it’s pretty easy to see who is coming and going. The vegetation around the school is very lush green and lots of it in every open area there is available. Inside the main campus there is even a patch of green grass in the middle for students to sit on and study if so desire. As for students most students dress pretty casually and up to style, not so much of the sagging pants or hiked up skirts. Pretty decently respectful clothing, however there are a few students that are a little rebellious here and there and wear shirts that show there midriff or holes through out there pants.
Most students seem to be very respectful to one another when passing in the hall ways. There isn’t any loitering before school starts in front of the school. Interior of school is very nice and open in main building. Admissions office is separate from Principle/Administration office. Not very user friendly to navigate around at first and as an observer you blend in with the students so most faculty or staff don’t even notice you, or offer to help. Assistant Principal extremely nice and warm welcoming to visitors, students, staff and faculty, not really up to date on what day the school is on “A” or “B” day. RRHS is one of many schools that works off of block scheduling so students are not crammed with so many classes in one day but have longer classes to obtain more information from. The main building is the oldest building on the campus and will probably be the next building to be torn down to be rebuilt for more classes and faculty.
The other 10 buildings are pretty well kept and if not new to the school such as buildings 1100, 1000, 500, 700 and maybe another building or two. Windows in all buildings were extremely clean and made you have that nice warm fuzzy feeling of walking into a building that seems to be well taken care of. All hallways from observation seemed to be clutter free, minus the 100’s of students passing by. Decorations were inside protected cases built in the wall mostly for organization and observation appearance. Each building had 2 – 3 sets of bathrooms in them minus the ROTC building who had one set due to the building being strictly for ROTC. Bathroom quality of the male’s latrine was clean, graffiti free and ammonia smelling free. Overall great quality of the interior of the building very impressed with cleanliness. Spanish III AP Stacy Dam/Teacher and Bethany Taylor/Student Teacher was the first class to be observed and from walking in the class seemed well organized and students seem to know the routine of the class.
Upon arrival most students were already in their desks doing their morning exercise for the class. The students were seated in traditional classroom format…rows. By the time the tardy bell rang there were two stragglers that walked in from the hallways talking with their friends. These were the guys that were to cool for school, you know the type hats on backwards, sagging pants no books and pretty much unprepared for class. When students walked into class they picked up there hand outs before sitting down along with pens if needed. After about 15 minutes into class everyone stood up for Pledge of Allegiance and Honor Texas Flag. Honor Texas Flag is new since 9/11 and believe Texas is the only state that does this for its public education system. After the Pledge of Allegiance the students were given 30 minutes to prepare for class to which most students had already done the work or some just wasted time.
The teachers did nothing and just spoke to one another not paying any attention to the students. Pretty disappointing to observe, after 30 min. had passed by, the teacher spoke to the class in Spanish and English explaining what they were going to do next. She then wrote a sentence on the board and spent another 15 minutes explaining word by word, grammar and sentence structure. She was very monotone and showed no sense of interest in making the class environment exciting, the students seemed very bored in class. The fluent speakers in class continued on with their gossip as if the teacher didn’t even exist. After observing this class I found it to be a low control low warmth climate due to the lack of rules and discipline in the classroom as well as the lack of teacher involvement in class with the students. The teacher ignored most of what was going on and mostly focused on teaching what she was obligated to do for the day with no disregard to the students that wanted to learn.
I found that there was a lack of classroom management for the same reasons as the climate. No assertion in rules, no discipline, no rewards, and not trying to get the class out of there cliques to work with others. What I learned from observing this class is to make sure there is always classroom involvement and to communicate with the students. I observed a second Spanish (class level 1) and was blown away from the differences. I did however walk into this class by mislead information from the Assistant Principal telling me this class room was a German class. This class was taught by a Mr. Castillo who had transferred there from Spain. The classroom was very well organized with additional books as extras to those who forgot there materials. Spanish alphabet on the wall, posters from Spanish speaking countries around the room, random vocabulary around the room to catch the student’s interest. Mr. Castillo was yet another monotone teacher, however he had an upbeat attitude at the same time.
He was a very patient teacher with the freshman and there remarks to everything that was taught to them. Most of the students were attentive to the teacher, there were however a few that I saw reading books that had nothing pertaining to their subject. Others were listening to Ipods and lastly there was a food cart that would come by and students would get up in the middle of his lecture to get food. The teacher continued on with his lecture as if nothing happened and the students that left to buy food would miss out on what he had to say. During the question session of what he had just taught them, most students seem to answer his questions and were praised lightly regardless of their answer. He was very positive with them but had a lack of rules and boundaries for the students. I felt the students took advantage of this and used it to their advantage. When a student had given a wrong answer all students would call this student out and let them know there mistake.
The teacher did nothing to stop the students and let the verbal bashing continue. While this continued he continued on with his questioning I believe to bypass the issue and stay on topic or to just ignore the issue still not sure yet. I found this class to be low control high warmth climate due to the praise he would give but lack of rules he would have. The classroom management was better than the previous Spanish class I had attended but could definitely be improved. What I found interesting about this class was no matter how many interruptions the teacher had he seemed to care about the students that were really trying in the class and found ways to continue the motivation.
An example of this would be walking up to the student that was paying attention and giving them a smile or a quick pat on the back to show his appreciation. This showed me how much the students responded to these little interactions and learned that if I do this with all students maybe I could have the same outcome for all the students. In conclusion I found this school to be more concerned about appearances than the education that is given to the students. I did observe three other classes but unfortunately don’t have the space to write about them. However they did all pretty much fall in the same manners as the first two.