A logical response

As budget talks heat up, and teachers seem to be getting the short end of the stick (yet again), I thought I’d post a schedule of my day. Keep in mind that today was not a special day at my average high school, and not unlike that of teachers all over the country. This schedule is my counter-argument for those who think my job is cushy, that I go home whistling every day at 3:30, and that my summers are, in fact, vacation–not the workshop-filled, curricula-rewriting, renewal-credit-taking couple of months before it all cranks up again when August comes.

7:10am–I leave home with two daughters in tow.

7:12am–Run back into house to get forgotten dietCoke, catch dog already on couch. Leave house again.

7:25am–Drop first daughter off at school.

7:30am–Drop second daughter off at school.

7:35am–Pick up two students (who moved out of our district) to give them a ride to my school.

7:45am–Arrive at school, and roam around the cafeteria, greeting students as the buses deliver them.

7:55-8:25am–Tutor middle-schoolers in my room. They are performing poorly in more than one subject, so I cover Wade Hampton, immigration (Social Studies), convection, genetics (Science), and my usual ELA. Today there was no math help needed, but I usually do that as well.

8:25am–I’m standing at my classroom door to greet each student by name as my first regular class begins. Class today is grammar bellwork and a quick, eraser-throwing lesson on passive v. active verbs, followed by a discussion of the take-home essay portion of the test on To Kill a Mockingbird we’re having tomorrow, wrapped up with answering panic-stricken questions about the unit project that’s been assigned since January (that is also due tomorrow). In between questions, I work at editing the 80 plus essays that are my share of the school-wide writing prompt from this month, and talk to a discouraged student who is considering dropping out.

10:10am–Second block class starts. See above routine.

11:44am–I dismiss my students for lunch.

12:00pm–I make a break for a cup of ice from the cafeteria for the dietCoke I still haven’t opened.

12:03pm–Encounter student in the hallway who should be at content recovery. I escort her to the room, and spend 15 minutes answering questions about the assignments I’ve made, including reminding the students that they must allow pop-ups on their computers to be able to actually see and take the quizzes.

12:22pm–Finally arrive back in my room with the cup of ice that will constitute lunch, and settle in to grade the remaining essays.

2:00pm–With five essays to go, my fourth block students arrive. See routine above.

3:30pm–I dismiss my students to go to the buses.

3:40–Four students arrive at my door, and ask if they can work on assignments for class. Of course, I say yes (with a smile) and ask if they are having any trouble. I update my online gradebook, discover nine grades that should be better, and call the parents/guardians.

4:45pm–Count the copies of the test I’m giving tomorrow. I have 15. I need 20. The copier on my end of the building isn’t working, so I walk to the other one, make my copies, and sign out for the day.

Please notice that I have already completed the list of things I must turn in each month: my engaging lesson plans that integrate technology and high expectations while being differentiated for each student, my non-fiction writing samples, my instructional calendar, my STAR student profile. I have also analyzed my practice HSAP data to guide instruction as we start that final push.

5:30pm–I arrive home to the regular things most of us face after work–laundry, dinner, dishes, my youngest daughter’s science project.

10:00pm–I begin the homework for my two night graduate courses.

Having said all that, I LOVE MY JOB! I work hard every day to help students reach their full potential. I changed careers at 35 to do so, and found it was a perfect fit. Despite the fact that the masters degree and part of this second one have given me a student loan debt that looks like a mortgage (not an exaggeration) and is at least twice what I bring home in a year, I wouldn’t be doing anything else. But never doubt that I and too many more like me to count are professionals. We read current research, modify techniques, work collaboratively with other teachers, present at conferences, write grants, publish in a wide array of media, volunteer as coaches and mentors, and so much more. If you think my job is not a profession, just try to keep up.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joshua Williamson
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 18:08:07

    WOW!!! alot


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