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A Day in the Life of a an Inner-City School Teacher

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3:45pm
Our teacher meeting ends. As I walk out with the vice principal, I use the opportunity to let him know how badly it’s going in the Air Vent room and wonder if he might look again to see if there are any other possibilities for that class. “I’ll check,” he says, which is code for “deal with it.”

5:30pm
The subway took forever getting me home.  I have a ton of grading to do, but dealing with students has drained me, and I desperately need a nap.

6:30pm
My phone wakes me out of a sound sleep. It’s Rude Student’s mother. “My son is denying that anything even happened in class this morning, I just wanted to let you know.”

I ask if he admits he was removed from the class. She says he does.

“So what does he say is the reason he was removed from class?” I ask. 

Silence.  That’s right.

Finally his mother speaks. “You’ll have an apology from him tomorrow morning.”

11:00pm
Finally finished grading quizzes and classwork. Now I just have to print out progress reports so I can hand them out tomorrow, with enough time to make up work before the break. I long for a real meal with my husband. At the dining table, not on the couch, surrounded by papers.

11:30pm
In bed before midnight! I get a page and a half into my book before my eyelids win the battle. As I reach to turn off the light I notice a text. It’s from one of my other advisees:  “Wassup miss can I get my code thingy so I can chek my grades?”

I turn off the light, ready to put another day to bed.

Anonymous is an English Language Arts teacher in New York City.

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