Volume 20 Number 4 February 18, 2019

What Does It Mean to Work in a System that Fails You and Your Kids? A Beginning Teacher’s Journey Through the Chicago Public Schools

Charles Vanover
University of South Florida, USA

Citation: Vanover, C. (2019). What does it mean to work in a system that fails you and your kids? A beginning teacher’s journey through the Chicago Public Schools. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 20(4). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.18113/P8ijea20n4


This ethnodrama uses verbatim transcriptions of classroom stories shared by a first-year teacher in the Chicago Public Schools to help audience members ask better questions about teaching and the systems that shape teachers’ labor. The production uses a small number of theatrical conventions to create an aesthetic experience built from moments of connection and moments of detachment and analysis. The script is structured as a polysemy: The teacher’s words contribute to the ethnography of urban schools in the U. S. and speak to the spiritual heart of teaching. The show is designed to be staged by anyone, anywhere, to create rich dialogue about life in schools. The script is published in full, along with a short introduction.

Visual Abstract

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