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.

Name:
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.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Trigonometry

Today my class and I studied the cosine of an angle. We worked on the formula cos (a) = a/h. Much to my amazement the class stuck to it and tried and tried and helped each other and really worked their way through the problems.

We only have ten more days of school—nine if you don’t count the day before report cards go home (a professional development day) and eight if you don’t count the last day. The last day students only come for an hour to get their report cards and go to visit with their next year’s teacher. So I guess we only have eight more days.

Outside it’s just the right kind of cool Tom Sawyer daydreamed about—and I do too. All day classes took a recess break—we don’t have a real recess in my school. Oh, you can ask for one. Especially on days like today. But we didn’t. We were working too hard studying the table of cos (a). And the students were enjoying themselves. They had to read the tables. They had to solve for the problem. They had to convert their answer to an angle.

There is nothing in the world greater than watching struggling students actively working on an enrichment activity and enjoying every inch of the experience.

We never did get outside, but we did solve a great number of problems and guess what? For homework my students are going to teach their parents how to do the math we learned today.

They were excited about that, too.

This is why I teach school.

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