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 08, 2007


With extreme apologies to Clement C. Moore and his poem, "The Night Before Christmas"

‘Twas the week before ISAT
And all through the school
Not a student was noisy,
I guess that’s the rule.

The children were quiet working at their desks
With visions of pencils, paper and tests.
Everywhere teachers looked unconcerned;
Even the class clown did not use her jests.

When out in the playground there arose such a clatter
Everyone looked outside to see what was the matter.
Away to the playground a few of us ran
And there we discovered the test in a tatter.

Our scores did go up I know this to be true
The newspapers said so so it has to be true.
We no longer take the IOWA, you know,
Where we could not be proctors for our classroom too.

The ISAT’s no IOWA. We stay in our rooms,
We walk the long aisles and watch our student’s test,
We know that we belong here
Cause we can see them giving their best.

And the test is so different—
We have ten minutes longer,
More pictures and an answer sheet simpler,
All of us feel stronger.

So listen, students, before you take the ISAT test,
Your teacher will be proctors in the room with you
There’s no reason to lose your head.
Our scores have gone up—the paper says this is true.


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