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, May 17, 2007

200th Blog

My last posting—May 10th—was my 199th blog. I really wanted very badly to have a positive blog for the two-hundredth posting. So I waited. And waited. And waited.

I couldn’t do it. I wanted the 200th blog to be full of great things. Not a few paragraphs. No, I was thirsting for many paragraphs.


Tuesday, May 15th, and three teachers are absent on the second floor and one on the first. No substitute came for 211 so I went outside during my prep period and assisted the gym teacher with my class and 211.

A sub showed up at 9:40 and I took both classes upstairs to our rooms. No problem there either.


All hell broke out.

206 emptied into the hallway as a fight went from the room to the hall and I went to help the sub while another teacher went to contain the students. The fight continued all the way to the lunchroom before it was broken up. If the eighth grade teacher had not shown up to assist with room 206…

And then it got worst.

After lunch, I again brought 211 and 209 upstairs and found myself alone in the hallway getting all of the students into their classrooms. This included students from 203, 204, and 206.

Two of my boys went to the drinking fountain even though I did not give them permission. How can you take care of your room when so many other unsupervised students are running the hallways?

The fight began in the hallway egged on by girls from other classrooms. I stopped it. I sent everyone on their way. But the fight was not over. The boy ran from his classroom into my classroom to continue the fight. I removed him again and he came in again. When I removed him the third time, I called security.

You get the picture.

Meanwhile, 204, 206 and most of 211 were in the hallway to see what all of the commotion was about. My student was having one of his every other day temper tantrums which I have learned to ignore. Unfortunately the boy from the other classroom could not ignore it. He rushed into my room a fourth time and got by me and got in the first solid blow.

(I am reminded of a time a teacher went off and I was all alone trying my hardest to stop him from seriously hurting a student. Perhaps I’ll tell this story. Perhaps not.)

Security arrived and pulled the offender off. He carried him into the hall. He carried him to the office.


Of course not.

The student broke loose after he was placed in the office and ran back into my room as my class settled—finally—into their work and jumped five feet tackling my student, knocking down chairs and tables and emptying out 211, 204 and 206.

(I’m proud to say my classroom moved out of the way and did not join the other classrooms.)

This is not the way I wanted my 200th blog to go.

So what’s in store for my 201st blog? The tale above continues…


Blogger Gloria Lima said...


I always read your blogs and all your books of poetry but never leave a message, I just wanted you to know that I just finished my 25th year as an educator. My children are entering their junior year and I am considered a true professional. Not bad for that girl who had no directions years ago. Thank you, Michael for sharing your vision with that girl who had no direction, who has honored our profession. I am the go to girl and the one who inspires beginning teachers, the one who makes it possible for teachers to understand data, that measures them as professional. Not bad for a mixed up girl from the inner city, that you help mold. Your writing, poetry continues to inspire me, please do not stop.

8:07 PM  
Blogger A Teacher's Log said...


It's so nice to hear from you after so long of a time. I am glad you are filling your hand with a full house in the game of life.

Thank you for your most kind words. I know you are a valuable asset to your school and colleagues.

I'm always amazed to find out people are reading my blog. I hope it helps. I hope you continue reading it--and continue to offer feedback.

Thanks again.


5:54 AM  

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