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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I've caught my annual cold

Today, the Petri dish we teachers work in caught up with me in the form of a cold. This happens pretty much every year. I'm luck if I only go through it once. It has happened as many as 3 times in a school year.

I don't like missing a class day for any reason. My classes lose momentum when I am out. In chess it would called losing tempo. Not much work, particularly meaningful work, gets done. All too often in our building, a colleague has to cover my classes for me since substitutes for the most part don't like to work at our school since the students become even more unmanageable that otherwise.

Today a student threatened me because I had the audacity to tell him to quit hanging out in the halls and get to class. He threatened to physically attack me, used profanity and walked up to me and yelled in my face.

Little will probably be done. Chances are he is a special ed student and on an IEP. If the public thinks getting rid of bad teachers is difficult, they ought to find out what it is like to rid the school of the students who make workings in urban schools a constant stress for teachers and a place where good students are cheated out of their right to a safe and orderly place in which to learn.

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