November 22, 2013

A Day In My Life

My day yesterday:

6:20 am Alarm goes off. Normally I snooze or check twitter/email/reader on my phone before getting up, but this week I am dog sitting while Ashli attends a conference so I have to get up and attend to his needs as well as mine.
7:00 am Leave the house. In my mind I leave at 7 am every morning, in reality it's always a few minutes after.
7:04 am Arrive at school. Yup, it's a 4 minute drive to get to school, all right turns and only one light on the way in. Contractually we need to be here at 7:12. Class starts at 7:24, but I have a 90 minute prep first block every day so the motivation to arrive early is lacking. I stop in one coworker's room to say hi, then head to my room to deal with my email. My co-teacher arrives to chat, then another coworker has a question, then another coworker with another question. We all have first block prep which is great for collaborating, but rough because kids are more focused on learning at the beginning of the day than the end, ah well.
8:20 am Finally manage to finish responding to all my email. Realize how late it is and wonder if I'll ever have time to grade. Realize I'm still wearing my winter coat and scarf, remove coat and take a bathroom break while I have the opportunity. Prep for tomorrow's classes. Stop by coworker's room and we head to the copier together. I complain about being cold and she mocks me for not wearing a jacket. I have a fleece on the back of my chair that I usually wear but I thought just maybe it would be warm enough today to be comfortable in a sweater.
8:55 am "bell rings" Well, the bell would ring if we had functioning bells. I think they broke in September, maybe early October, and they're so old it's taking this long to order the part.
9:00 am PreCalculus starts. We have a do now and discuss homework, then I project some problems and have a seat. I've found that if I sit down rather than immediately circulate to see who needs help the students are more likely to use their resources and make an attempt. I clean off my desk then start moving through the room to see who's stuck.
10:00 am Three students have completed the problem set but the rest of the class is making good progress I don't want to interrupt. Two of the students who are done are trying to sneakily do their English homework, I tell them to feel free. I get the third student to help me hang some student work in the hallway (geometry class did the triangle quilt project a few weeks ago and they were still sitting on my desk). Before the end of the class more students are done and so we discuss. As the students leave one asks me if I have a plan for pep rally week. I raise my eyebrow and he explains that he'd like to do something with Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio because they're really cool. Another student asks what Fibonacci numbers are. I remember that on Wednesday we have a weird schedule - regular first block, shortened second block and then the pep rally. Fibonacci numbers sounds like a great idea for the shortened second block, especially if there's a student in Honors PreCalc who doesn't know what they are!
10:26 am PreCalc is dismissed and it's lunch time for half the school. I call this second breakfast and heat up some oatmeal. I eat with mostly math teachers, so I tell them about the student requesting Fibonacci and ask what ideas they have. By the end of lunch I have a list of potential projects and a promised email forward.
10:56 am Lunch ends, time for the geometry meeting. I'm in the sophomore house, which means that all teachers with 3 or more sophomore classes have the same block off. On Monday/Tuesday (depending on how our alternating day schedule works out) we meet as a full team. On the remaining days we meet in curriculum groups; today was a day for the four geometry teachers to meet. We discussed plans to continue reinforcing concepts students struggle with during upcoming units. Including an outline of a midsegment lesson I'm excited for (and hope to share soon - hold me to that?). The curriculum director stopped by the meeting for a while. At one point he says something about how I use "that Dan Meyer stuff" which got a confused look from me. Turns out he was talking about discovery style teaching as opposed to "I do - We do - You do." The reference was amusing. At the end of the meeting we get caught up talking about how to engage one of the new teacher's classes - it's filled with repeaters so there isn't much buy-in.
12:15 pm Finally make it upstairs, I'm a bit late for hall duty. My exciting job is to stand at the end of the hall to the cafeteria during lunch so that kids don't go any further than the bathroom without a pass. Luckily my mentee's classroom is right there and he has a prep so we get to chat every other day for half an hour. Today we worked together on a PreCalc project we'll assign next week.
12:28 pm Lunch duty ends, I race across the school and down two flights of stairs to get to my class before the students do.
12:33 pm Geometry class starts. Most of them have a productive class working through stations.
2:02 pm School ends. I immediately open the tray of brownies and my co-teacher and I each eat one. I made them last night for the club I run after school. Only a couple students show up since powderpuff practice is at the same time and my seniors are there instead. We still manage to redecorate our bulletin board.
2:55 pm Students head out. I clean up a bit and type some random letters in a word document. Leaving an unsaved document prevents the computer from shutting down at automatic shutdown time. It's not energy efficient but it saves me from extreme frustration on the days that the network is down so I can't sign in, plus it takes so long to quit all the programs I don't want running it's much better to let it sleep during the week and only shut down on weekends.
3:15 pm Coworker and I arrive at my house. The dog is very excited to see us and we all head out for a walk around my neighborhood. Nice chance to chat and unwind for the day. Coworker suggests doing this regularly, whether I'm dog sitting or not, which is a great idea.
4:00 pm Arrive at class (also close by, it's at the middle school which is just up the street from the high school). The state recently added an ELL training requirement for licensure so last year I had to do 10 hours of PD and this year I'm taking a full course. It's run by the state so it's not well organized but the instructor is great and it's a chance to work with my co-teacher as well as a few other math teachers from the district, which has been nice.
4:30 pm Break out the last of the brownies. Class still going.
5:00 pm Realize I never ate my sandwich, I usually have lunch at 2 when students leave but I got distracted by brownies. Have a very late lunch. Class still going.
6:40 pm Class ends, 20 minutes earlier than scheduled - thanks instructor!
6:50 pm Arrive home, try to get caught up with the internet.
8:00 pm Realize it's late and I haven't had dinner yet. I had plans to work on Nix the Tricks this evening too. Food takes priority.
8:15 pm My mom calls, I'm finishing dinner as I answer.
8:30 pm Finished with phone call and decide to play on my phone. Too late to do any writing.
9:00 pm I'm exhausted and start heading toward bed. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!

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