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.

Name:
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 18, 2007

Science Fair Getting Ready for the District Week

But first a word from our sponsor:

dear michael, you are not an idiot, but a goddam fucking moron. that is my whole point. the world does not have time for this bullshit. don't lie to them. i read your candy-coated blog and was perplexed. a mother curses her child's teacher in public? don't apologize for the ignorant people, mourn for them' as for the rest, i don't know. do what you think is best. peace

---The Man from Viet Nam--unedited

And now--everything except for the posters are ready for the district science fair. We proved the temperature goes down after a major volcanic eruption, learned too much about light sticks, discovered Pop Secret is the best microwave popcorn and learned way more than I ever needed to know about the chemical acetone and its impact on organic material.

During our experimental trials, one of the light sticks sprung a hole and actually exploded through the Styrofoam cup of water containing it. Green chemicals and water went everywhere. When we did the photos of the acetone working with organic material, the entire room stunk of every dead thing you could imagine. Fifteen degrees outside and we had every window open. Much to my terror, after we popped the pop corn for the final trial, the scientist in charge threw everything away. I was looking so much forward for a pop corn party.

We also learned my class has its full of bullies. It’s very hard to teach a class when all of your attention is on the class, but it’s almost impossible to teach a class and assist with the district science fair preparation at the same time. Unfortunately, the bully syndrome came out big time while I was assisting the student scientists. Finally, the administration sent me an adult to supervise my class and when I went outside of the room to duplicate materials, one of my girls who has an illness you can see ran out of the room crying. It seems a few of the boys made up a very negative song about her illness. No one ever cries in my classroom. During the after school program, I asked her to tell me what happened. She wrote down the words of the song and a number of girls joined together to help her. We now have an official anti-bully club. First meeting tomorrow. Feedback anyone?

The other frustration I ran into was the sudden poor quality of work while I was trying to do too many things at once. One student answered the essay question on his opinion about the Obama run for presidency with the following answer: Cortney Cox. (Keep in mind, this was supposed to be an essay.)

More--lots more--tomorrow. I was the teacher, the counselor, the disciplinarian, the after school security guard, the after school coordinator, the science fair supervisor, etc., etc., etc.. Now I have to be the crossing guard.

Later.

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