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 01, 2007


I’m working on a few grants at the moment—one to get libraries in each classroom, another to get books into our student’s homes and one more to develop a more viable plan to get parents involved in the school as volunteers.

Everything I read on the subjects of classroom libraries, reading at home and parental involvement comes to the same conclusion: successful schools have a successful parent component—parents volunteer and volunteering parents model reading.

So it was a great thing when I met Amanda Grant from the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice during the February NCLB Conference. She offered free assistance with developing a parent volunteer program—something my school sorely lacks. (As far as I can tell, we only have one dedicated parent volunteer.)

Last night two members of the Appleseed Foundation came to our meeting about how to get more parents involved and let me tell you, you have to wish you could have been there—especially if you are a teacher teaching in the inner city and have few to no parent volunteers in your school.

Jose Melendez and Kim Conte were fantastic facilitators. They got the teachers involved in the discussion and offered viable and easy to do suggestions. Already we’re planning on using a few of them—bragging about our school with displays located in community based programs that service our students.

We have the sixth grade champion in the district science fair, for example. Why can’t I brag?

If you would like to see the notes from the meeting, I can get them to you. Just let me know by going to the comment section.

In the meantime, I just want you to know their presentation was great, their information easy to digest, and best of all, we are now planning a long term relationship with them.

How great is that.

We are going to post their four steps on posters—

In order to succeed—
build relationships
link to learning
address differences
support advocacy
share the power

That’s just one of the ideas they helped us explore.

The teachers left excited, I’m obviously excited, and now, Tuesday morning, I am looking forward to a new day, the sun is out, the sky is blue, and it looks like everything is going to go the right way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kudos, Michael! We are happy to help and we look forward to our continued partnership! --Amanda Grant

7:52 AM  

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