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, January 11, 2007

Another Great Day in the Chicago Public Schools

First I have to tell you about John A. Fulton from the Dunne Chicago Public School. I had to go to a workshop for the after school program--I'm the coordinator--and much to my surprise, it was actually fairly beneficial. And one of the biggest surprises was a gym teacher named John A. Fulton who runs the after school program at Dunne.

He gives his teachers extra preps as a thank you for doing extra work--volunteering to take a group after school to the computer lab, for example, or conducting a small group seminar before school. He has his own posse, too, students who need time out, nurturing or enrichment and extra thanks for jobs well done. He shared his successes, how he modified things to create more success, and how he takes photos of everything.

"Walk in my class and I’ll take your picture. Walk out, I'll take another one."

After John's talk, I went to his place at the table and viewed some of the photos. They were great. Pictures of happy children, smiling children, and children actively engaged in any number of activities.

We had other sessions, too, and I learned something in each one.

At school, my class and I created a number of posters, fixed up the Least Restricted Environment room--I'm in charge of that, too—and worked a bit on the upcoming district science fair which—you guessed correctly—I’m in charge of too.

Then it was time for the after school program. We had our free socializing time in the gym waiting for our time to eat, ate with few disturbances, and then we had our homework period--and it went well. Quite well, in fact. Those who did not have homework received a packet from me--and for the most part, everyone did something.

Dismissal went quickly, the day ended easy, and I can't wait till tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm going to put on my roller skates again and see how many of my students can recall what we learned about potential and kinetic energy a few days earlier.

Can't wait.

PS: John Fulton, if you’re reading this, we surely can use some of your photos to liven up this page. Just click on comments.

PS 2: Anyone else reading this--we still don't have a clock in our room. Hint. Hint. Hint.


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