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.

Friday, December 08, 2006


The following is the report I distributed to the staff of my school.

Teachers Union Meeting—December 6, 2006
Michael Brownstein, Union Rep

“One of the teachers at my school broke up a fight and the next day the parent of the child—who is always a discipline problem—filed a police report for battery against the teacher. What can she do to protect herself?” asked a teacher at the Chicago Teachers Union meeting, December 6, 2006, during the question and answer period.

“The teacher should file the following reports,” explained the union officer fielding questions, “an assault report with the principal and, if needed, a police report. Any member can file a police report. You can go to any police station and do this. This is your right. Of course, you will always be provided with union representation.”

Marilyn Stewart, the president of the CTU’s president report:

Gift cards. The Board gave out gift cards at a cost of over a million dollars. “This is another divide and conquer strategy. Only teachers received the cards. Not counselors, union officials, social workers, paraprofessionals and others. The board wants to divide us by giving gifts to one group and not to others.”

Merit pay. “The union has never endorsed merit pay.” Merit pay is highly subjective. “No child succeeds because of your classroom teaching for one year.” It takes a school to teach a child—M. Brownstein.

The Board’s 27 million dollar grant. “They want to use the money for merit pay. We say no. Merit pay does not work. Professional development does.”

Conditions of the schools. “Many schools are crumbling. People are getting sick from our schools. Let us know if there is a problem in your school. We have trained personnel who can assist you in getting the help to fix the problems.”

Social security numbers. “Our private information has always been vulnerable. The Board mailed out over 1700 letters with complete contact information including social security numbers and addresses. The Board only wants to be liable for a year. We will not let the Board off the hook with this one. Do not sign anything without our consent.”

Clerks. Clerks are being asked to do after school paperwork during their working day. “This is an overtime activity. My advice: Do your job. Do it well. Keep records of all of your unpaid time. We are filing a grievance against the Board to stop this practice.”

Teachers can buy up to two years of credit for teaching in private schools: 16.5% of their first year’s salary and 8% of their pension contribution for every year of service.

Three resolutions were passed unanimously: a resolution to honor paraprofessionals, a call to the Board to use only the last four numbers of our social security number, and a resolution to define and support school health programs and healthcare personnel.

Mildred Porter at her meeting at Mollison before school 12/6/06: “Don’t let a parent use corporal punishment in front of you. A teacher received a fifteen day suspension without pay for allowing a parent to spank her child in front of the class.”

For assault cases: Student should be removed from class immediately. File assault report and misconduct report immediately to the principal. Make a copy. If needed, file all documentation with the area office. Porter said she would be available to assist in this process. You have the right to file a police report.


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