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, August 22, 2006

Tuesday, August 22nd--Jefferson City, Missouri

Nothing happened over the weekend. Nothing. We were amazed. Everyday for the past few days red shirt people began to congregate on the gangbanger wannabee’s porch, but nothing happened. I guess I’m too amazed.

Well, one thing. A teenager came onto the porch and the parent asked him to leave. “We don’t allow cowards around us,” she snapped. Of course, her entire family (and this includes her) were wearing red shirts.

He gave her a surprised look. (He is sleeping with her daughter after all.) Can it be she doesn’t know? Can it be the back door stays open all night for him to sneak in and out?

“You didn’t help my daughter when she had that fight.”

“Why would I?” he asked, and I looked up from my work on the porch because he said each word with perfect diction. “You shouldn’t start anything you can’t finish.”

There was silence. He sat down on the stoop. Everyone went inside leaving him and the teenage daughter alone.

School started back and a lot of people went. Not everyone. A lot of children here are home schooled. When the school day ended, our neighbors came out—and yelled and fussed and generally insulted the students coming home from school. But nothing happened. By eleven o’clock at night, everything was too quiet.

OK. There will be a big party on the corner this Thursday. I’m installing lights to spread out over our porches. (Took them down when I began working on the front porch.) We are seeing an increase in teenagers walking down our street, but that’s all. No big thing really. Most of them aren’t even wearing red shirts.

Passed out the August newsletter, but we have received absolutely no feedback yet. (Well, it’s been only a day.) I’ll see if I can’t post it up here later.

Guess I’ll write more on Friday if I get a chance—but you know what?—maybe I won’t have to because maybe, just maybe, the block will follow the rules we proposed and everything will be under control.


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