Alternative to what

The environment in an alternative school can be very demanding. The students of these schools are generally those who have suffered from many types of adversity academically, socially, cognitively, and emotionally. They have little hope if any and have experienced many of the adults in their life “giving up” on them. To say the least spending a day with these guys can leave you downhearted.
To be successful as a teacher in this environment it is necessary to accept the issues that each student brings into the learning environment and understand that until those issues are resolved they will be barriers to the learning process. Success cannot be measured by the number of students you “save” because the results would be greatly depressing. In the alternative setting you must keep yourself fixed in the short term. Make it through each day with the students because the next day will be different.
Understand that the your students for the most part do not have the ability, or the desire, to look far into the future. They have problems now. These problems are usually rooted in their needs physically, socially, cognitively, and emotionally. As a teacher you cannot fulfill every need for every student and the sooner you admit this the easier it will be to accept “set backs’ with some of your students.These students need goals, but in order to set goals and attempt to reach them there has to be hope, for something better when they reach their goal. Before hope there has to be trust. Trust that someone will value them enough to stay with them. Hope that someone will refuse to give up on them in there worst of times. This is the challenge to the alternative school teacher. Never give up. No matter how bad the day has been it has probably been worse for the student.
At the end of each day count the successes and accept the failures. There will be more failures than successes but it must be undersood that successes with these students are great because they are rare. Celebrate them and prepare for the next day and rmember the words of Winston Churchill: Never give up, never give up, never, never, never, never, in anything large or small, never give up!