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.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesday, March 28th: We take the second part of the math test on the ISAT and the seventh graders take the science portion, too.

It should be an easy and boring day. The room will be stone quiet because they know how to test. It will go almost to lunch time. I bought a book to read.

And I'm tired.

I'm tired because the phone started ringing at 9:30 when one of my friends called me from Jefferson City, Missouri to tell me what was going on next door.

"Can you call the police?" she asked.

I live in Chicago, but I'm always calling the police down in Jefferson City because they are scared to call the police themselves. The police have this habit of telling on you. They don't walk up to you and ask if you saw anything. No. They ask if they have solved the problem or if you need them again, please let them know.

The people on the block are scared to call because they are positive the gangbangers and teenagers who go to the house on the block and cause havoc through great big fights will seek revenge by destroying their property.

They may be right. Twice they have vandalized cars and more than once they have tagged buildings and sidewalks with hard to remove spray paint.

Nothing ever happens.

You would think after the police go to a residence ten times in a month they might think something is wrong.

But they don't.

So last night, when I should have been getting ready for testing, I found myself calling the building's landlord and the police.

In a little while I'll have to prepare my class for the seventh grade science ISAT test, get my two students ready for the final preparations for the All City Science Fair, and get myself prepared to coordinate the After School All Stars Program. I don't know if I'll have the energy to do the crossing guard job at 4:45 because by that time, I'm sure to be too tired.

Five police came onto the block in Jefferson City, talked to the lady of the house in question who explained all of the teenagers as people who came to a party uninvited and it wasn't her fault.

It never is.

One boy went away in handcuffs and the smell of marijuana just ate at the air.

Anyway, cross your fingers. I'm hoping we do better on the ISAT today.


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