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, August 03, 2006

August in Jefferson City, Missouri

It was a hundred degrees outside for the last week, but I think we may be in for a break today. Haven't been outside yet. Been working hard on getting these old houses up and running, No big thing--but I'm scaring myself cause I'm able to work outside for hours and hours and I can take it. Didn't know this was possible.

Tuesday night was neighborhood night out, but we didn't do a thing. Our neighbors, though, decided to have a party--they thought neighbors night out meant bringing to the block all of the usual suspects who caused so many problems. It didn't work. Only a handful of people came by. They were loud at times, but mostly the hosts were embarrassed.

One conversation:

"So where's the party?" a Corner Boy asked.


"Then where's everyone?" (It was already nearing 10:00 PM.)

"Don't know, but they'll be here. You know I run Ash Street."

There was quite a bit of laughter and hooting from the Corner Boyz after this statement.

"Then why don't you come out in the daytime? Why do you only come out at night?"

"This is my street."

"Then why are you scared to come out?"

"They should rename this street after me."

"How can you run a street when you're afraid to come outside?"

"They should name this street Tanya Street."

I guess she didn't get the point. The Corner Boyz left, none returned, and by eleven only one boy remained on the porch, but he grew tired of the cursing little girl--she's nine--and her mother who seemed to want him--very badly--to take her oldest daughter--she's sixteen--inside for sex, drugs or beer or maybe all three. He didn't take the bait. In fact, he was so disturbed by the mother's apathetic and pushy behavior, he left.

By 11:30, no one was on the porch.


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