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.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

After the First Day

The first day went so smoothly, everything was just about right. Well, there were a few problems. The principal had to give my class gym because the gym teacher hired for the school is on a half day schedule—he spends one half of the week at another school and the rest of the time with us. The assistant principal taught library. (We still do not have a librarian.) We only have two aids and they seemed to be stretched pretty thin. Only one copier worked. (Out of three.)

I have twenty-four students on my roster, but one transferred out. Twenty students showed up on the first day all in uniform and everyone had some school supplies. (Nonetheless, I still passed out paper, pencils and pens for those who might not want others to know they could not afford basic supplies.) The class seemed pretty nice and articulate. Two students already told me they had problems with math. Three others asked for help in reading. I’m getting a good feeling about all of this.

A few of us stayed after school a couple of extra hours to make sure other things were accomplished. We helped set up computers and type letters to the parents and other things.

Tonight is the first union meeting and since I’m the delegate, I guess I’d better go. I’ll report on that tomorrow.

OK—so far so good. We read from a few books, did a pattern in math (using a coloring book), reviewed basic math, studied a chart and a graph, and wrote an essay on how to improve the school. (I may post some of the better ones on this site. Or not.) We began character education with a story about someone innocent who gets drawn into a police incident. It’s good to know my students can tell the difference between a tattle-tale and doing the right thing. (At least a few students vocalized that view.) By the way, the character education book is free to teachers and classrooms in Illinois.

I guess that’s it.


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