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.

Friday, June 15, 2007


The last day of school. My students were here for one hour—9 to 10 mostly just to get their report cards. I finished all of my records yesterday and only had a few things to straighten out: putting their new room numbers on all of their records, reviewing report cards one more time, and dividing the piles of records into three groups—two groups move to 8th grade and one child is going on to high school.

At 8:15, I was in the playground—all by myself—and had to do an emergency clean-up. Someone had broken a bottle last night and there was glass all over the playground ramps and slides. There is always glass on the ground, but why the slide and other stuff children are going to play on?

School started on time and ended quickly. One of my students is being moved because the consensus—and I fought against the decision—is that he will cause the soft spoken eighth grade teacher a hard time. I feel he would be perfect for her—soft spoken is something he does not know much about.

Anyway, we did have a fight the last full day of school and a little later a gang of girls wanted to fight a third grade girl over some he says/she says garbage, but that ended with a few stern looks. No fights this day. Perhaps it was because there were two uniformed police officers in front of the school. New idea? Were police in front of every school?

I’m taking a chemistry class this summer, so my hands will be full. I’ve got to do some work in Jeff City, Missouri a bit later on. I’ll be writing and getting a poetry book together for publication. (If you’re reading this and can help, please do.) I’m also going to work on my Mr. Thorn novel (the year the school was altogether out of control as seen through the eyes of a student) and a few other ideas—nonfiction and fiction work—and get these two ready for publication, too. (See parenthesis above.)

That’s it. I’m sitting at my table, the last item not removed from my room for comprehensive cleaning, amid paper and a large fan—‘cause it’s really hot in here—and I’m waiting on my records from the sixth grade teachers.

At noon I’m out of here. Too many errands—and another paycheck short too many hours. The board now owes me at least two weeks pay. Nothing like working as hard as you can without getting compensated for it.

And let us not forget the Board still owes me for after school work—eight hours at least—and all of my work for the Least Restricted Environment—at least five hours there.

Any ideas?

I’d say have a nice summer, but I’ll be writing this blog every now and then—probably more now than then, so I don’t want to say see you in the fall.

School’s over for this year!


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