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, June 15, 2006

Records Day

There has to be a last day of school and I guess yesterday was that day. The children do come back on Friday, but that’s for only an hour or so. They receive their report cards and their new room assignments. Many of them will also receive their summer school assignments.

Today is Records Day. We’ll work on all of our records and tomorrow we’ll get them to their new classrooms. It should be a fairly easy day.

Yesterday, my class played games and had outdoor recess and then we had gym. A very easy day for me. One of the grandparents—a lot of my students live with a grandparent—brought enough cola and chips for a mini kind of party and we did that too.

I was able to write the narrative for the After-School All Stars program grant that’s due in a few days—but I won’t be here to hand it in. I’m heading someplace else. I’m not really sure what to do with this blog during the summer when I’m not teaching, but I think I’ll be on it a few times a week reflecting.

The Least Restricted Environment Grant is read. They want me to work on this project during July sometime, but they just told me to begin working on everything a week ago—as if teachers do not make summer vacation plans. I have a hand picked team who will help out in the summer. Yesterday we stayed at the school past 5:00 to package all of the LRE info. Everything is organized for the team. They shouldn’t have too many problems.

I liked this class a lot. They had a lot of personality and a lot of problems, but we were able to do a lot of good things. I’m still waiting for the standardized test scores for the seventh grade and the seventh grade ISAT test scores. I’m confident their scores will be very good.

Some of the teachers will be leaving us—board requirements, lack of funds and moves by the board. A few of them were great. One of the teachers, Lisa Provost, was the 8th grade math teacher. This was her very first year teaching. Her scores sky rocketed. But even more importantly, I thought she was one of the best math teachers I have had the opportunity to work with. Unfortunately, she is the low man on the totem pole and so she has to leave.

Another teacher, Kristina Utley, a brand new second grade teacher, was a superstar as far as I was concerned. She helped me with the grantwriting committee--really her and I were the grantwritng committee--and she was one of the teaching stars of the After-Schoo0l All Stars Program. She is also a first year teacher and I hate to see her go.

But this is the way it is. This is the way of the Chicago Board of Education. Something's just cannot be changed.

Overall it was a good year.

Can’t wait till September. Even with all of the changes, I think it already promises to be a challenging and exciting year.


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