all in a day’s work

If Tina Fey is to have any success producing my dramedy, it is absolutely necessary that she understand the timeline of a “typical” day for me and many other educators.

6:00 AM – Alarm goes off.  Get out of bed.

7:30 AM – Leave house after getting myself ready and dog fed.  Husband rides with me.

7:50 AM – Drop off husband at work.

8:15 AM – Arrive at school.  Sign in.  Check email.  Conference with another teacher about student judge making out in hallway.  Make copies for 1st period.

8:35 AM – Hallways open to students.  Must stand in the hallway until 1st period begins.

8:55 AM – 1st period.  Two students enter late.  Today’s class consists of historical character speed dating.  It was successful.

9:43 AM – End of 1st period.  Begin planning period.  Check email.  Attempt parent phone calls to numbers that are incorrect or disconnected.  Document the attempts.  Make copies for rest of day.  Read article for tomorrow’s meeting re: summative and formative assessments.  Prepare test for 3rd period (aka get remotes set up).

10:29 AM – 3rd period.  The ones with the attitudes (ironic in a high school).  Several latecomers.  One incessant talker.  Confiscate contraband (aka mp3 player).  Administer test.  Confiscate more contraband (cell phone).  Speak to students after class about discipline violations, importance of classroom behavior, making parent contact, yada yada yada.

11:35 AM – 4th period.  Seminar.  Academically gifted students.  Feel bipolar going from 3rd to 4th period.  Introduce mock trial case and guidelines.  Watch with amazement as they analyze, work, decide and create with authority.

12:30 PM – Lunch.  Make copies for next class.  Play nurse to a sick student who needs a place to rest her head.  Conference with colleague on imminent legislation that will end state End-of-Course (EOC) exams in Civics & Economics as well as U.S. History.  Respond to email from County coordinator.  Go to the bathroom.  Eat.

1:05 PM – 5th/6th block class.  Constitutional scavenger hunt.  Dazzle them with my Prezi skills.  Field countless questions about census counts, qualifications to be legislator, Joe Biden’s teeth, the Cabinet, age of consent, gay marriage.

2:47 – Block class ends.  7th period planning.  Enter grades from 1st period.  Grade tests from 3rd period.  Email another student’s mom.  Document the communication.  Send out reminder about Student Court tomorrow afternoon.  Conference with teacher about another student judge with an attitude problem.  Consider summer employment opportunities.

3:30 – Make way to front hallway for afternoon duty.  Discuss this article with colleague.  Agree that we have known this for years, but we aren’t from Harvard so it didn’t matter.  Bemoan the fact that researchers with no substantial classroom experience make educational policy decisions.

3:40 PM – School day ends.

3:50 PM – Duty over, back to classroom.  More grading, type up minutes from last week’s School Improvement Team meeting (of which I am the co-chair), finish grading tests, clean up messes left behind by teenagers coming in and out of classroom all day.

4:50 PM – Leave school to pick up husband with papers to grade in hand.

5:10 PM – Retrieve husband.  Landlord calls, wants to put tile in the kitchen to cover up hole from termites.  Meets us at home.

6:00 PM – Tile approved, landlord gone, pajamas on.  Begin grading, updating webpage, emailing parents.

7:00 PM – Wine.

8:00 PM – Go over lessons for tomorrow.  Have existential crisis about chosen career.  Convince myself it’s worth it.


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