Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Life is Good... A Day in the Life
6:50 AM- I walk through the doors of my middle school. Besides being an algebra teacher I also serve as an instructional coach for my building. I like to get to school before the rest of the staff so I can get prepared for my classes before teachers drop in for help with one thing or another. This morning a parent drops in unannounced to pick up work for his son who had surgery the previous week and who will not return until after Thanksgiving. I give dad everything he needs and show him how to access the online texts, lesson tutorials and homework calendar. After dad leaves I send an email to this student to wish him a speedy recovery as well as send him the links for all that he needs just in case. I am also a sponsor for our student council and one of my officers walks in with updates about our "Penny War" that we are having this week to raise money for The Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy- pretty quiet morning compared to most.
8:00 AM- School starts. My schedule this year is not the best. I teach an algebra class every other hour and coach the rest of the day. Seems like I never have enough time to get any major projects going so I end up taking lots of work home each night. My first hour is for coaching. I make preparations for a technology session over lunch tomorrow- "Appetizing Apps To Be Thankful For". Our district provided our staff with iPads last summer so a focus of mine this school year has been helping staff with some of their technology issues. Once a month I plan a session during their lunch period to share apps they might find useful in the classroom. It is totally optional. Lunchtime is the best time to reach the most people so I try to make it worth their while. I've been getting a pretty good crowd every month so far. I also spend some time this morning working on a session for New Teacher Academy for tomorrow after school from 4-7 PM. New teachers from our district are provided with sessions once a month to help them with their first year of teaching. Tomorrow's topic is classroom management. I am presenting on Randy Sprick's CHAMPs approach. I spend time on these two things throughout the day as I have time.
My algebra lesson today is on graphing linear systems of inequalities. Students have been working on graphing inequalities in previous lessons so they do well on todays lesson. All of my classes have time to get started on their practice problems for tomorrow before they leave. I am able to get around the room to check on their progress and answer their questions before they leave. I have great students this year. They are actually much easier to deal with than teachers most of the time!
8th grade team plan time today was spent working on updating our curriculum maps for the common core. Tomorrow we will be going over individual students learning plans and progress reports are going out so I make sure all grades are entered into the gradebook. I love our computer gradebook program. What a time saver it is! Technology has really made a teacher's job easier.
Teachers drop in to see me throughout the day with questions about one thing or another. Simple stuff today- nothing very time consuming. Four o' clock is here before I know it and I head out the door for home. I bake a batch of Ligonberry Bars for tomorrow's Appetizing Apps Session and then go to my 5:30 PM yoga class while they cool.
I get home from yoga in time to watch the 2nd half of my Jayhawks basketball game. They are playing Michigan State tonight. The game is pretty close- the season is just getting started so the game is somewhat sloppy. I check things out on Twitter, my gReader and work on this blog post before my Jayhawks lose the game in the last few seconds...Oh well, it's just a game! Henry needs walking, so I think I will call it a day. I am grateful for this job that I love, working with people that I enjoy. Life is good.