A Teacher's Day

The day in the life of an inner city large urban school district teacher after the high stakes testing ends and there is still three more months left before summer vacation.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

I have taught school for over thirty years always in the inner city and for the most part always upper grade students. I have two children and I have been married for twenty years.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Session one of the ISAT Test went very well. We split my class up and sent the seventh graders to the art room where the art teacher proctored the test. The assistant principal gave the test to my sixth graders. She told me one of the students finished the test in five minutes. I told her immediately who it was.

The other day we were writing a response to an essay question on THE BIG WAVE by Pearl S. Buck. He brought his finished essay to me and, of course, had a totally wrong answer. One of my seventh graders was nearby when I pointed this out.

"I did too read the story," he protested.

"No, you didn't," my seventh grader said. "You have to stop doing that. You know as well as me that you didn't read any of it. You just made it up."

"I did too--"

She cut him off. "OK. Believe it if you want, but everyone in this room knows the right answer because they read the story."

I stopped her then and I asked her to go over the essay with him. "Perhaps you two can read the pages together?" I asked.

They went to his table and began reading.

My seventh graders told me they thought the first section of the ISAT wasn't that hard. My sixth graders were a bit more concerned. Today we take the second section of the reading ISAT Test. I have my fingers crossed.


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