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.

Monday, October 16, 2006


One year I was the Resource Teacher, a cushiony job. I had extra breaks and sometimes I would be freed up to do other kinds of things. At 2:20 each day, while other teachers were getting their students prepared to go home, I had outside duty. Little me. I’m barely 5’8”, maybe an inch more. Many of my students are taller than me, stronger than me, bigger than me. Yet this outside duty was something I actually grew fond of doing.

That was a rough year for my school. No Child Left Behind had turned us into a receiving school and all of the sending schools sent us the worst children they had. There was almost a fight a day. I got so I could smell conflict before it even started. And that’s why I enjoyed it so much. I became THE MAN WHO BREAKS UP FIGHTS. (Even wrote a book about it. Hint. Hint. It’s in needs a publisher.) After awhile, the students would see me coming toward them and the fight would end. How easy was that?

So last Friday, on the way to my first home visit of one of my students (this after I wrote a blog on how I was no longer making home visits because my class was so together), I had to jump a chain link fence and stop seven or eight boys from kicking one boy when he was down. Just like old times.

Everyone ran when they saw me. It’s nice to have the touch. The downed boy got up and ran towards the school. I followed him with my eyes, saw him reach security—where he remained until the other boys dispersed—and then I went on my way.

The boy is a bully. Some time’s we as professionals don’t even know if he has the true concept of right and wrong. He had started a food fight in the lunchroom. He did get in trouble. Could it be he was blaming these boys for his mishap? Could it be he jumped on them as a group thinking his loud abrasive self would be intimidating enough?

I don’t know.

People tell me quite often the best cure for a bully is a quick and painful beating.

Was this what this was?

Monday morning. The student comes to my class at 10:40. A few of his attackers will be in the room too. I guess we’ll see what develops next.


Anonymous Rose said...

I'm happy to know that your reputation
is intact.I read your blog daily and sometimes wonder how it got so out of control and is there anyone elso who gives a darn about it. I showed your blog about the guy with the gun to some of the people in my office, they were horrified, nothing like that was in the realm of their experience. I hope we wont have to keep our kids under a lockdown just so they can get an education and not have to worry about getting killed while they're learning.

2:03 PM  

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