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.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Going backwards: Thursday started off rough—I would not let one of my classrooms go to gym until they finished their assignment—but once the class settled down everyone but two students received a perfect score. When the incredible book fight happened at the end of the day—you know someone yells food fight and all hell breaks loose, but this time someone yelled book fight and hell could not compare—I was in the office, told to run upstairs and handle it, and three other teachers came to help me out. So it stopped immediately. The good news is my class was on a break with another teacher and everyone stayed in their seat and continued doing their work. No one jumped up and ran to the door to see what all of the excitement was about. Hurrah!

Thursday: Over forty students, eight assignments, three-hundred-five perfect papers.

Wednesday: The African-American assembly. Three of my students performed in the ballet sponsored by the Joffrey Ballet Company here in Chicago. (Just a moment to brag on myself: I wrote the grant that got the ballet here in the first place.) During the eighth grade portion, two of my students were asked to go on stage to dance—and they were sensational. When it was our turn, one of my students did an excellent recitation of a speech by Sojourner Truth while the boys put together their African drum ensemble. (Yep, I wrote the grant that purchased the authentic African drums.) They did three original beats and they, too, were fantastic.

Tuesday: A great field trip. You can read about it by pressing this link.

Monday: That was a long time ago. Can’t remember.

Other highlights:

When the misbehaving children were put in my classroom this week, they behaved.

Students began—and this happened at least five times—to stop conflicts before they got started.

One of the worst sixth graders—who is now a seventh grader and in my room—received major accolades for improvement in everything. (And I got the credit for it. How silly is that.)

Until next time. Thanks for reading.


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