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.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Everyday this week I worked on the all school science fair. Monday I judged all of the classroom science fairs (with the help of two hand picked seventh graders). Tuesday and Wednesday students from the fourth to eighth grades came to my room to be judged and/or show me the improvements they made so they could be in the science fair. On those days, my seventh graders assisted every student who wanted to enter, but were in need of help.

My room was an explosion of activity. Poster boards laid out everywhere. Staplers coming and going at the speed of sound. Scissors making music you could dance to. It was great. It was exhilarating. It was fantastic. It was—oh, my, oh, my, oh, my—fun! It’s what a classroom of learning should look like.

At the end the room was a mess—but my students helped create more than fifty graphs and charts, beautify over forty posters, and practice the presentation with thirty or more unsure students.

This is why I like my class.

(Even if a ton of poster board border littered the floor and the tables.)

Today—Thursday—is the school science fair. Over a hundred students qualified. Over a hundred. How cool is that?

Every evening, every morning, walking through the halls of the school all I hear: Do you have any more poster boards? Can I come to your room for help? How can I make a graph? Etc. Etc. Etc. Please, pick me. Pick me. I have a great project. Pleeeeease!

And the projects are great. The enthusiasm is that grand. The gym is set up and everything is almost ready. I can’t wait. In an hour and a half over a hundred students in my school will be set up to be judged and viewed in the largest science fair I have ever run. Hope I get some kind of help.


Won’t it be great when tomorrow I write how great the science fair went, how well it was judged, and then I end the entire blog with: I did it by myself?

Wish me luck. (But I really won’t need it.)


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