November 16, 2012

An Unusual Day in the Life

Every day of a teacher's life is long, but one of the longest is parent conference night. I didn't want to choose an extra crazy day for my Day in the Life post, but I did want to share what it's like.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I was in school for 8 hours and 50 minutes (fairly typical), went home for a bit, then returned for another 2 hours and 25 minutes. That means 11 hours and 15 minutes at work in one day.

I taught for 3 hours and tutored for 1.5 hours. Many people only think of those 4 and a half hours when they think of the duties of a teacher. What did I do for those other 6 hours and 45 minutes?

I: graded 13 projects and 21 tests, read and dealt with (via response or recording information) 25 emails, explored a new computer program to determine if it was worth trying, worked with my co-teacher to try out tomorrow's experiment and work out the possible pitfalls, typed instructions and formatted slides, made 210 photocopies and saved progress reports for all five classes (5 clicks to save each file!).

Oh, and I spoke to 26 parents about their children. Interactions ranged from "he loves your class" to "you need to provide step by step instructions" to back stories that explain behaviors and just make me wish I could 'make everything all better.' Sadly they're too old for it to be enough to just tell them "it'll all be okay."

Throughout the day I served a lot of roles beyond "facilitator of the learning of mathematics"

I: taught English (helped with a literary analysis, broke down vocab words and gave definitions), played guidance counselor and/or therapist, gave pep talks, relayed information during a crisis, played friend matchmaker (encouraged a group to work together), was both a calculator lender and calculator fixer, wowed students with my paper folding magic (we made hexaflexagons) and was a debate moderator.

I was also informed that during the pep rally next week I have to take on the role of dancer (my task is to learn Gangnam Style by Wednesday).

After over 11 hours at school I'm really not excited about going back at 7 am. Good thing I planned a fun activity where they get to cut out the pieces of a triangle and try to find counterexamples of the different congruence theorems (SSS, SAS and SSA are up tomorrow). Hopefully the students will find it engaging since I won't have the energy to make it seem extra exciting.


  1. I love that you included language instructor. We could add etiquette coach, social worker, and sometime criminalogist, as in "is that kid stoned, he smells a bit funny? "

  2. I think you've got a better grasp on your grading than I do. I also notice that, doing the math, you must have been seeing a new parent every six minutes or so on average (26 in 2h 25m) - that's impressive! At our school we run ten minute blocks for three hours (though there are always drop-ins). Hope your congruence went well.

    Oh, and all the best with your Gangnam Style! (Or opt for mathie style... heeeey, what could x be? f, f, f of x, that's the mathie style...)