Lucia has something to say

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Kindergarten Teacher

I used to teach on the west side. Of Chicago. Garfield Park. Twenty-six five-year old souls in my hands. On a street where sometimes kids didn’t make it. From the school to the car. A street ruled by the Vice Lords. Where sometimes the front and back windows were shot out of all the car windows. Where sometimes old women in Sunday hats at the church next door shared cake over the fence with gang members. Where once on the way to parent teacher conferences, a full bucket of water was tossed through my car window, soaking my left side. Where if the Lords were sitting on my car at the end of the day, the elderly janitor and I would sit and chat. Until they left.

12 Comments:

Blogger jen said...

it's the domestic, too, isn't it. i always get tripped up in the international, but we've got it all right here, too. the exploring and angst. the doing.

it's all here too.

1:26 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

how do people live with fear every day?

7:50 AM  
Blogger QT said...

See? You have so many different chapters you could put into your book!

I am thankful that someone who cared a whit was in charge of those souls, even if it was just for a few months.

10:33 AM  
Blogger thailandchani said...

Reminds me of the movie "Dangerous Minds".

I can't imagine living that way.. but am grateful that someone is willing to do it.


Peace,

~Chani

10:34 AM  
Blogger meno said...

Reminds me of a book i read quite a while ago called "Slow Motion Riot" which dealt with these domestic problems. Quite the eye opener for me.

4:31 PM  
Blogger kat said...

Wow you amaze me. Your life is so extreme. I had no idea you taught that and taught that there.

I admire you very much.

7:11 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I would love to hear more about this. What an interesting tidbit about you.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

Yikes. I can't even imagine.

My worst problem in the parking lot are parents who wait for me and want to "talk" about junior's problems paying attention, and could I give him extra credit work to make up for the 40 missing assignments?

12:06 AM  
Blogger Susan as herself said...

Man, when I first moved to Chicago I was told about the Vice Lords. And I knew which neighborhoods to avoid. So I mostly did.

I am glad you never got hurt, and lived to tell the story.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

ive been there, i was one of those kids.

It was Humblut Park in the late 70's and it was the OA's and the Latin Kings and I was white

10:08 AM  
Anonymous caroline said...

Hi Lucia,
How trying for you, and for the kids in the school. When I taught in inner-city Cincinnati, so many of the kids acted tough, but they actually couldn't stand it. They were just trying to protect themselves. It made me so sad. I kept thinking what amazing things they could do if they were free to focus on academics. I'm glad you survived to tell this tale.

12:14 PM  
Blogger David said...

I teach in a prison and I used to teach in an inner-city middle school. Teaching isn't all apples and math books!

11:27 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home