My first official teaching job was in an "experimental" school. It was for students in grades seven through nine, and the students were problematic (juvenile detention, drug issues etc.) . They "ran" for classes, and all three levels (7th, 8th, 9th) could be in the same class. Naturally, everyone signed up for classes with their friends, so the classes ended up with all the students who fed off each other in one class. It was ungraded in that they either passed or failed the class. We had to write notes to the parents at the end of the term ----in triplicate --- explaining how the students performed. It was a nightmare!!! Instead of studying social studies, we offered "Knights and Ladies" which was a combination of mythology and medieval history. One class I taught was "History of France and Germany". I don't know who thought that one up, but there was NO information on it anywhere, and I had to make up my own materials. We taught six DIFFERENT classes, so preparation was tedious and time-consuming. The ninth graders taught the seventh graders how to misbehave, and by the time those same seventh graders were ninth graders, they were experts at it, teaching the next set of seventh graders. The level of performance went straight downhill because the students realized that it didn't matter if they got a 70 or a 90, they would still pass. The program lasted about five years, but I transferred after three to a more traditional setting.
How did I get this job? The normal interview process. It was a small district with only two junior high schools. My husband was a disabled vet from Vietnam, and the man interviewing me had a son in Vietnam who had recently been injured. Since my husband was undergoing rehabilitation for his wounds, the man was sympathetic, and it gave me an edge over other applicants. I do not wish that edge on any other person. Then again, I hope they never bring this "experimental" program back into the educational system.