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, April 18, 2006

Back From Spring Break

Here's my impressions on the first Chicago Teacher's Union meeeting I have ever attended. I have been a union member forever, but never a delegate. Below is the report I issued to the professional staff at my school:

Union Delegate Meeting—April 5, 2006 Report by Michael Brownstein

We listened to a cheerleader from the AFT of New Orleans tell us how great our union is.

We listened to Stewart tell us how much she hates violence in the school. “The board moves bad principals from place to place. The board makes no arrangements for children who need alternative learning sites. The board pretends there are no assaults because teachers are given incident reports instead of assault reports.” She was very mad about what is going on at Kennedy High School and this has ramifications for us. Remember when we were a receiving school? We received the worst from a number of schools and I remember that being a very bad year. An argument for not closing a school can be made by what is happening at Kennedy—every problem, according to Stewart, is coming from displaced students who were displaced because their schools were closed.

We went over the contract we plan to bring before the board.


These are proposals we are making to the board for next school year. These have not been passed by anyone yet. These will be negotiated by the union and the board for the 06-07 school year.

Don’t get too excited.

Gym teachers would get 2000 dollars to spend on supplies.

We would receive five self-directed preps a week. Going to grade level meetings would not count as a prep. Librarians, art, music, gym and other prep classes would be considered teachers. (I don’t know what they were considered before.)

Teachers would be allowed to write up the suspension notices and meet with the principal to enforce specific punishments. No longer would we have to write it up and wait to see what happens—we can help make the punishment happen in conjunction with the administration.

All classes would have lower class sizes.

A full day kindergarten teacher would have 20 students.

Article 33-17 was added. This offers five + five opportunities to teachers for retirement.

A full-time counselor would be assigned to every school for every 350 students. An ESP would be assigned to them for 50% of the time.

No quorum. Only 229 members present. We stopped on page 7 of the contract..


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