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, May 22, 2007

202nd Blog--and it continues and continues and continues

Friday came in with a wallop and stayed there like a headache in need of something really strong. Darvon perhaps.

So many teachers out and so few substitutes. By 1:50 the entire class (well, not everyone—five remained in the classroom) next door was in my room. The substitute started sending children to me at 9:15. When I heard the door slam so hard it raised everyone’s headache a decibel or two forty five minutes later, I walked out to see who he was sending to me now and—

Something’s are better left alone, but you have to do what you have to do cause some time’s that’s the only option you have.

The biggest boy in the next door room was already running for his life down the hallway. The biggest bully—and you read about her here a number of times—was chasing him with a scissors. Yelling at the top of her lungs, the scissors held high, I could not believe how fast she could run.

The security guard jumped from her seat and vanished. Unbelievable. When the boy reached me, the scissor wielding girl only a few yards away, I grabbed him hard at the shoulder and threw him into my classroom, slamming the door and turning just in time to be smashed by the girl as she slammed into me and the door, The scissors made contact with the wood missing my hand by mere inches.

She stepped back, the scissors in her hand held so tight blood was changing the color of her fingernails, and told me in no uncertain terms I had better open the door or—and all I could think to do was stand there and block her as the boy stood behind the wooden door. (At least he didn’t go near the window. I’m positive she would have shattered it.) I called out to anyone—as I was the only one outside in the hallway—to press the button and call for security. I yelled it again and again. Surprisingly, as I watched this girl prance and dance and scream before me, the scissors in a dangerous death hold, her face ferocious with anger and pain, I actually was able to keep count of how many times I called for help before I finally saw a teacher rise up and press the intercom for help.

The security guard? I don’t know where she went.

The sub? He was behind a closed door blocking it.

Help arrived a few minutes later (at least eight individuals) and the girl released the scissors. It wasn’t easy and I never once left my position at the door even when she tried to get through one more time.

In the end, I asked one of my students to wet a few paper napkins so the boy could stop the blood flowing from scratches at his neck. Then his uncle picked him up and her grandmother picked her up and—

By 1:50 I had my class and everyone in the room next door but five students and a student from a class down the hall and a few other children.

And that was my day…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What will happen to this girl with the scissors, are there any rules in place, laws, whatever to keep her from coming back until she learns how to control herself. You also need to fire the security guard.

3:26 PM  
Blogger A Teacher's Log said...

The boy hit her five times in the face so it was decided by the probation officer and others that a suspension would be the answer--a suspension for both individuals.

We have been trying to get the girl help for two years now--with no relief in sight.

Fire the security guard? In the Chicago School District?

5:16 AM  

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