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, February 22, 2007


It’s been an interesting week to say the least. On Friday of last week, I set a new personal best—most fights broken up in a two hour period: 8. (Fortunately none from my room—and this includes two after school when I was the only staff member outside to assist during dismissal.)

If I were to start to give A’s for cursing, a bunch of students surrounding me—and some in my own class—would get an A each quarter.

The bully problem persists in a few classrooms, and the girl who has been victimized in the past in my classroom has now become the biggest bully of all. (But she made everything easy for me by yelling and cursing out the assistant principal. Bullying the assistant principal? Not a good thing.)

In the last five days—starting back with last Friday—I have had between three and six students from other classrooms housed in my room because either their teacher or a sub could not control them. And let’s not leave out Tuesday—the day I spent an equal amount of time between my room and another room because…well…because…(At one point a student hit the teacher and then started dancing around the room.)

So yes, the last few days have been a daze.

But there is good news too.

Jim Burnette, a rep I met at the No Child Left Behind convention (sponsored by the Illinois Resource Center), dropped by the school yesterday morning at 7:30 for our Least Restricted Environment (LRE) meeting. He brought by a lot of resources to assist us. (I’m trying to spend a few thousand dollars and he wanted to help me spend it and I would like to spend it with him and his publishers.) It was a great meeting. We were able to look at a number of great projects and ideas.

But here’s the best part. The superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools was going to drop by sometime during the day and Jim offered to help me clean up the LRE Resource Room. (This is a room we set up to assist teachers who are having inclusion problems.)

Jim reps for Heinemann and others. I’d give you his contact info, but first I’d better get his permission. I’m hoping to spend the money with him to purchase a number of much needed material so our school can become a full inclusion setting. (Unfortunately, the LRE grant is contingent on a lawyer’s approval.)

Thanks for the help, Jim.

Oh, by the way, the principal’s meeting (which is why the superintendent showed up) went very well. When people from the meeting made their walk through and came into my class, they saw my students mixing chemicals to create mixtures and solutions. And everything worked. The chemicals went from clear to white to yellow and back to white. In the end, every group of chemists had a cup of chemicals layered with different colors. (And did I tell you at one point the chemicals fizzed and began to boil?)

Finally a day that was not a daze.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warm Regards,
>Contact info.
>Jim Burnette
>Grace Educational Resources
>1808-C West Diversey Parkway
>Chicago, IL 60614
>Phone: 312-961-5718
>Fax: 312-577-0490
>E-mail: jimburnette@sbcglobal.net
Rally! Education

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice! Thanks so much for your kind words.

Glad that all the chemicals mixed correctly and sounds like a great showing for Arnie!

Jim B.

Jim Burnette
Grace Educational Resources
1808-C West Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 312-961-5718
Fax: 312-577-0490
E-mail: jimburnette@sbcglobal.net

1:20 PM  

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