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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


In the culture of poverty, words have a lasting value. Oftentimes, a great value. With words, you can show off, be tough, show how big and bad you are.

Interestingly enough, a few of my students have begun to do just that very thing. They’re using words, intonation of voice and other verbal theatrics and choreography to show just how big and bad they are.

Unfortunately, a few of them are classroom leaders. You know the kind. The leaders who head the class into the realm of negativity.

No problem, though.

“I’m not doing any work and you can’t make me,” seems to be an anthem I’m hearing from a few teachers more and more.

But here’s the “cool” part. These students are talking the stuff, but they’re not following it up with their actions.

Yesterday we did the ISAT test for math. My class takes the test after the other seventh grade room. We went to the student lunchroom and read poetry. They wanted to go to the gym. A few of them made their views clear—with words.

Gym or not, all of the I’m-not-doing-any-work-and-you-can’t-make-me noise was just that. Every student did all of their work. The one’s who professed to be the loudest and angriest did the best.


Use words to get points with your peers and then use actions to get points with your teacher.

I guess hypocrisy is now being taught at a very early age.

And that’s my vocabulary word for the day: hypocrisy.

Actions speak louder than words—middle class value. Words speak louder than actions—hypocrisy.

How do you like them apples?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home