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, May 04, 2006

I'm Back

OK, so I took two days off because I had urgent family business in another state. Shoot me. It's Thursday, and I meant to come back to this teacher's log yesterday, but I couldn't. I needed a night to reconsider.

Here is how yesterday went: The children came in with too much noise. It was hard to settle them down. I gave them their weekly essay--which was already assigned on Friday and in my lesson plans for the substitute--but only two students completed it. So we started again.

One seventh grade girl complained she was absent for all of poetry month so she could not do the assignment. "I don't even know what poetry month is?" she complained.

I found the book we used, showed it to her, and proved to her she only missed four days in the entire month. It didn't matter. She couldn't stop disturbing her table with her nonstop talking. I guess a D to an A+ writer in the third quarter is not enough incentive to do better.

Then the brothers started up. The troublesome part of this is one of them was my first pick for student of the month. "I thought you wanted to be student of the month?" I asked.

His response was hysterical laughter. From that moment on, he did not want to do any school work let alone sit in his seat. I have a conference with his mother planned for later this morning.

Then there's my new student. He likes to curse the girls out, hit them and chase them, but not in the way we know sixth and seventh graders play these games. He's serious.

"No girl's going to hit me and get away with it," he said. "If they hit me, I have to hurt them."

Where did he learn this?

So I went to his house and met his family. I showed them his lack of work and talked about his cursing and his negative treatment to the girls in the classroom. The response: big smiles and some laughter and the usual refrain: We'll take care of it.

OK, so now I know.

The teacher's in-service in the afternoon was a disaster. I don't even want to discuss it here or someplace else. My wife told me it's because I'm the only male teacher in a school of women. That's not exactly true. The gym teacher is a male, too, but he is only a day to day sub and he wasn't at the meeting. She thinks their pettiness is getting to me. It probably is.

Then I went to the teacher union meeting. Another joke. I'll let you know more on that later.


Blogger Anita said...

Ahh, the pettiness. It's precisely why I try to avoid the staff room. It can truly poison a person, can't it?

I'm glad you stopped by my journal - I apologize for the foul language, but - you know...it was a pretty crappy day! :)

4:18 PM  

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