Teachers’ Strike: My Days in the Library

Tuesday and Wednesday were relatively uneventful.  Everyday we gather in the lunchroom for a Principal’s debrief.  The predominate questions are:

  • How many students will show up today?
  • When will the strike end?
  • How many protestors will be in front of the school building tomorrow?

THE DAILY SCHEDULE

The group has definitely relaxed into the routine since the first day.  Many of us know the students on a first name basis and look forward to the structured activities.  These include board games, sports, reading groups and movie watching.  Our day is generally grouped into 45 minute blocks.

  • 8:30 – 9:00 AM                    Breakfast
  • 9:10 – 12:00 PM                  Three Activity Periods
  • 12:00 – 12:30 PM                Lunch

The CPS lunchroom staff prepares a free breakfast and lunch for the students each day.  Breakfast primarily consists of cereal, milk and fruit.  Lunch consists of a sandwhich, fruit, milk or juice.  Most of the ChildrenFirst staff bring lunches from home.

A NEW PERSPECTIVE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

As much as it was an adjustment and inconvienence for some, I wonder how many of us will miss our ChildrenFirst group when we leave.  It would be really interesting to see how many of the Central Office folks will consider transferring to work in a school in order to interact with students more and have a more direct impact on their education.

I was assigned to the library on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is time scheduled primarily for Seniors to work on college applications.  Several students take advantage of this opportunity to work with the college counselor on-site.

THE DAYS ARE GETTING LONGER

Considering that there are 4 to 5 adults per student on any given day, the team has taken to finding activities to entertain ourselves throughout the day.  I am completing some of my regular daily tasks, participating in board games, catching up on business and daily news and writing articles for this blog.

At the end of Wednesday, we learned that our program day would be extended from 12:30 to 2:30.  This is to accommodate parents who are having difficulty obtaining alternative day care or supervision for their children.  Several partnering organizations have also opened their doors to help:  churches, community organizations and some charities.  It’s great to see the city working together to meet the needs of our children.  I just hope the union and the district can do the same.

Sources

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  I am a strong believer in individual accountability and collective action.  When not reading, working or blogging, I’m supporting my favorite charities: Teen Living Programs where I am a volunteer and Executive Board member and YWCA Chicago where I am an Associate Board Member. I am passionate about causes related to supporting youth, women and families. Particularly in the areas of education, social services and housing. I can be reached at sherryclayton78@gmail.com if you would like to know more about my charities or the blog.

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Categories: Professional Development

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