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.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Today is the last day of the reading tests of the ISAT. Yesterday's test seemed pretty easy. The extended response--the essay portion of the test--seemed fairly easy too. Unfortunately, two of my students did not know there was another part of the test after the essay. We had to use the extra ten minutes. They told me they were done and I saw they were not. They became really nervous. I told them to take a deep breath. They still had time. They had done this kind of thing before. Both of them finished. Perhaps making that section first next time will make it easier for my students to understand. It's a reading test, after all, not a listening test.

I gave my students free time to unwind and then we finished reading THE BIG WAVE by Pearl S. Buck, the novella we have been reading as our novel study.

After lunch we worked with the calculators to get a better understanding of how they can assist with the mathematics portion of the test. It went fairly well, but one of my seventh graders could not--or forgot, I hope--how to draw a right angle. We reviewed that and moved on.

My sixth graders felt the test was not as hard as the first part on Tuesday and my seventh graders actually told me they enjoyed reading the story about the zoo. Enjoyed reading it! I guess teaching has its rewards even when they come from the most unexpected places.


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