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, March 29, 2007


We did our poetry projects today by groups—and it went fairly well (and the same child from yesterday’s blog who is one of the worst discipline problems in the school actually did the entire project for his group).

Book reports came in, poetry research went out (students checked out over twenty books from my personal library and if I don’t get them back, yayyyy!!! cause I would love to have more books in the homes of my students), and the children wrote really nice critiques at the completion of our novel study, LOVE THAT DOG. (Oh, and if you read this blog, you can donate books to my library and to my student-take-home-and-never-bring-back library by emailing me first with the comment button so I can make arrangements for the books to be delivered. Thanks ahead for your time.)

So the day went well.

Then I went outside for my usual after school duty and everything was going oh, so well, when I started seeing students congregating towards the lawn of the abandoned church’s yard.

So I went there, too.

And just in time.

I grabbed one sixth grade boy and moved him quickly out of the way and then went after the girl who was bleeding very badly from her nose and mouth. I handed her to another adult—oh, they came running when they saw me in the middle of everything—and I gave the boy to one of the security guards.

But it wasn’t over. The girl’s brother went ballistic—he wanted to hurt the boy who punched his sister in the face—and it took me and another security guard everything we had to calm him down.

And it gets better.

The administration delegated me to walk the boy home (truthfully, they gave me a choice in the matter) because the brother/sister team threatened to kill the fighting boy. I didn’t know they were next door neighbors, but I walked the three blocks past the drug dealers and the gang bangers and I got him home safely and found out they were neighbors when they threatened to kill him by screaming threats through the broken screen on their window.

I talked to his father and let him know what happened and told him to keep an eye on his son. Maybe he shouldn’t even let him go outside.

Then I went next door and found that the sister/brother team was home alone, but I did get to talk to their mother over the phone and she promised me she would keep them inside even though she was at work.
Both adults promised they would have a cordial meeting later that afternoon and solve the problem peacefully.

I hope so.

It was time for me to go home.


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