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, November 06, 2006


Years ago we boycotted table grapes until a union contract was signed. Then we boycotted lettuce. This too brought upon change. Jessie Jackson asked us to boycott a number of things, and we did.

When someone makes a negative comment about something we care about—racism, for example—we boycott it. Plain and simple.

I remember when a rib joint made an anti-Semitic remark and the boycott was so effective, they were forced to make numerous concessions and apologies.

I am always glad when a boycott works and the order of the world is righted again. Dow Chemical is an example, but now I buy their products. The Viet Nam War was a long time ago and they have made many changes to right the correct order of things.

Should our students learn only the history we want them to learn? Should everything be revised and politically corrected? Should they not know which presidents were racists and which presidents tried to go against the grain to make the planet a better place? Should we revere Columbus? Should my students not know Columbus ordered the amputation of limbs from natives over thirteen who could not supply him gold? Should they not have the choice to learn that Jefferson had a slave mistress? That people were tortured for not converting to the religion of Christianity? That Jo Ann Robinson was instrumental to introducing the world to Martin Luther King, Jr.?

What about Trump? He uses the bankruptcy system for his own benefit again and again and we lionize him. Isn’t it time for us to teach our children how to research primary sources and discover truths about what is really going on?

I think so.

If this offends someone, and I do have a target in mind—but that’s for a later blog—then perhaps the purpose of educating a student is not to create a lifelong learner, but to create more puppets.

Do you remember when being on time and a high school diploma was all you needed? Higher order thinking skills were not necessary? Isn’t building the capacity to think for yourself and be able to make knowledgeable decisions based on cognitive abilities important?

Our students deserve better.


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