Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Day in my Mary Janes

I am linking up with "Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher" to take a peek into a typical teacher's day. Each of my days is a little bit different, but I will describe to you my usual Tuesday. That's pretty normal. For me. WARNING: I am being brutally honest and giving way too many details, but now you know!

6:20am - Radio alarm goes off. I jump and sit up with my heart pounding. Once it settles down, I hit snooze and lay back down. 
6:29am - The dogs start whining and jumping up on the side of the bed to get me up. I swat them away and bury my head under my pillow.
6:30am - Alarm goes off again. I turn it off, turn on the light and turn off the fan (yes, I use a fan to sleep all year long). Stumbling out of the bedroom, I put the dogs outside and feed them.
6:35am - I listen to the Morning Show on my local radio station while I get dressed and do my hair and make up. I like to take my time getting ready in the morning. Sometime in here the dogs will bark to come back in.
7:15ish - I make my Vi-Salus Protein shake and sit down by the computer. I check/update my facebook, home and work emails. I blog surf for a bit.
7:30am - I go out and start up my little Jetta Diesel to warm up and defrost (I HATE scraping windows, so it works out that my husband is insistent on my letting the diesel engine warm up!) While the car heats up, I pack up my bags and my lunch and brush my teeth.
7:40am - Pack up the car, tell the dogs to be good while I am gone (not that they listen:) and head off to work.
7:55am - stop into Walmart to pick up whatever missing item I need for that days science lesson/art project/lunch that I forgot.
8:05am - drive into the school parking lot. Most mornings I am the first to arrive so I gather my bags and bins and computer and purse and lunch bag from the car, unlock the door, turn off the alarm, turn on the lights,  unlock the door from the inside, turn on the copy machine, put my lunch in the fridge, plug in and turn on my laptop, turn on the projector, set up the morning message, job list and "everything book" lesson on the screen.
8:15am - chat with co-workers as they arrive about everything from day plans to family life to how tired we are and who will make the coffee!
8:30am - copy the morning's work pages (mostly a Monday thing). Record the previous day's reading test scores on the goal board, look over lesson plans for the day and gather needed materials for lessons before recess. Write out new memory verse on chart paper (they are due on Mondays). and pull out the read aloud for the day. On Tuesdays, I also debrief with my EA, as she only works Tuesday to Thursday. We makes some plans, I show her some of her student's work and we figure out what we should be working on this week.
8:45am - The bell rings. I head down the hall to let the angels in. Every single student has a story to tell me, something to show me or someone to tattle on. I give each one my attention and send them to the line. I usually get a few hugs and "I missed you Mrs. Matheson"s. I remind students to keep the hallway neat so we can win the "Silver Sneaker" award from the principal. I also remind them that this is the time to go to the bathroom and get their drinks.
8:50am - I lead the line down the hall to our classroom. Students put their Communication folders in the bin, sign up to take AR tests, put their sight word challenge cards on the hook and start working on their "Everything book" Fill in sheets. I check each folder for notes, homework, money, sight word cards, etc. As students finish, they change the books in their book boxes, I assign classroom jobs to early finishers. I remind the STAR student that they need to do the calendar. I check books that are done and stamp them if they are right. 
9:15am - When most students are finished (or time is up) I call out "Let me see who is ready for the carpet" and a general scrambling to sit nicely at their cleaned off desks ensues. I call them by row to go to the carpet. Our STAR student leads us through the calendar, months, days, rules, number of days in school, weather and memory verse. I read a daily devotion. I take prayer requests for sick pets, grandma's arm and a sister who has a birthday next month. 
9:30am - I read aloud a story, focusing on a particular reading strategy. I remind the three students who asked to go to the bathroom that they are not aloud to go during carpet time and should have already gone when we were in the hall.
9:40am - I call group #1 to meet me at the teacher table. I call the girls to get their Daily 5 activities ready. Then the boys. (The girls usually go first because they were sitting nicely and not rolling all over the carpet or sneaking closer to their bookboxes before I called them). Students separate into various reading activities including Reading to Self (and taking their AR tests), Reading to Someone else, Word Work (spelling and word wall words) and Writing. Group #1 meets with me to do a small group reading or phonics lesson. When I leave them to complete their independent worksheet or activity, I check on the rest of the class to ensure they are doing what they are supposed to be. I ring the chimes to call everyone back to the carpet.
10:00am - When everyone has finally put away their supplies and has returned to the carpet, we cheer out our Word Wall Words. This usually involves moving our bodies in different ways to show if a letter is tall, short or has a tail. Then Group #2 moves to the teacher table and the others students go on to their Daily 5 rotation #2. Same as before (Group #1 and 2 do the same Grade 1 lesson, with varying difficulty and group #3 and 4 do the grade 2 lessons).
10:20am - I ring the chimes and the students know to line up at the door. After reminding everyone to me super quiet in the hallway to earn marbles for our jar, we skip, run, walk and, sometimes, crawl down the hall to the bathroom, being called back and reminded as we go to walk properly. The 7 girls are fine, while the 12 boys jostle to get their hands washed in the two sinks. When the class is once again lined up, we go back down the hall (walking more quickly) to get out snacks. Snack is eaten and students line up. 
10:30am - students go outside for recess. After getting things ready for the next block of lessons, I throw some yogurt or an apple or crackers into my mouth and ask my neighbouring teacher some questions (or share a good story).
10:50am - Students come back in from recess, again telling me lots of events that happened outside. I send two students with the resource teacher for typing class. The rest of us go back to class and get started on Daily 5 Rotation #3. I work with group #3.
11:15am - I ring the chimes and students go back to their desks. They get out their Mental Math notebooks and set it up for 10 questions. When ready, I teach the strategy of the day and ask them 10 addition questions. They record the answers, passing them down the row when finished. 
11:25am - Using the document camera (In LOVE with my document camera, by the way) I teach the grade two math lesson. Right now we are measuring, so I use a variety of objects to measure and take them through their workbook pages, giving instructions. They get started on their pages while I teach the grade one lesson. I usually do one or two questions with them to make sure they've got it. Then I circulate while the students work. I often have the resource teacher in my room during this time, which is awesome because I cannot split myself 19 ways to help everyone at once.
12:00pm - After passing in their math, we do either a french lesson or a grammar sheet. Right now we are learning about weather phrases in French. I show them my notebook page on the projector and they copy the phrases and illustrate it in their books.
12:15pm - I pray and bless our lunches. We line up, go down to the bathroom to wash out hands. Come back to class and eat our lunches.
12:30pm - The bell rings and the students go outside for lunch recess. Most Tuesdays, I now have time to get my science or gym lesson ready. Some Tuesdays I now have choir practice in the Kindergarten room. We practice until the bell rings, usually not hearing it because we are singing!
12:55pm - The bell rings. My students come inside to get their indoor shoes and water bottles and line up outside. We get on the bus and are driven to the church to have gym (about 5-8 minute drive).
After getting our shoes changes, students do a running warm up and a tag game. I teach the day's skill. Then we practice that skill and then play a game using that skill. At 1:55 we line up and get on the bus.
2:05pm - We arrive back at school and get our afternoon snack.
2:15pm - Daily 5 Rotation #4. Work with Group #4
2:35pm - Writing lesson at the carpet. We work on a group piece of writing or a skill.
2:40pm Daily 5 Rotation #5. Remind students that this is their last chance to take AR tests. Sit down and call students to do a sight word challenge test.
3:00pm - Students come back to the carpet for our Bible lesson. I like to write names and draw pictures on the white board while I teach the lesson. Students go back to their desks and we do a worksheet or activity together.
3:20pm - Students pick out library books. I assign one students to stamp the behaviour charts while I check the books out on the computer. Students pack up. I remind no less than three students to take home their water bottles or sweaters. I have the students leave their backpacks in the line and walk around to pick up garbage or pencils off the floor so that Mr. Vyvey will give us a thumbs up (our custodian). And yes, you CAN have your spot back, just leave your backpack there.
3:25pm - We pray together and head down the hall to go home. I remind my students to leave their indoor shoes on the top shelf which prompts the chant of "SHOES ON THE TOP!" I remind students to check their belongings head to to toe, calling out "hat, scarf, coat, mittens, snowpants and boots!" The grade 7/8 class tries to run the gauntlet of little grade 1/2 kids sitting in the hall to put on their boots and snowpants. I get lots of hugs and "Bye Mrs. Mathesons". Watching out the window, when the bus drivers are on the buses, I let them leave. I help a few more "slowpokes" get their coats and boots on, zip up a few jackets. Find someone's forgotten backpack and run it out to the bus in my dress shoes and no jacket. Wave and say bye to all of my little faces in the bus windows. Speak to a few parents as they pick up their kids. When the buses leave, I head back inside, gathering mittens and hats and tossing them in the "Mrs M Mitten bin". 
3:35pm - The staff meets together every Tuesday and Thursday after school for devotions. We read a chapter of a Bible book we are working on together. We debrief about the day and share any news or prayer requests. We pray together for staff, students and community members. We tell lots of stories and laugh together. It's a great time to just sit after a long day.
4:00ish - Head back into my room and start cleaning up. Put books away in the library, straighten supplies and desks (how do desks migrate across the room, making straight rows look like horse shoes?!?) I sit down at my desk and check my school email. I respond when needed. I try to clean off my desk and straighten up all of the tables. I gather my marking and planning supplies and photocopy what I can for tomorrow. When my bags, boxes and bins are ready, I gather them in my arms and head out to the car. I usually stop to say bye to a coworker and we end up chatting for a bit.
4:40ish - I start the car, give it a minute or two to defrost and head home. I stop on the way at the post off and the library, where I exchange my piles of books. 
5:00ish - I get home to two very bouncy, happy to see me puppies. I turn the corner and find something or other that they managed to find and tear to shreds (usually a piece of paper or kleenex) I scold them, put them out and feed them. Then I try to decide what to feed myself. Usually leftover from another night. I gather my supper and my work bags and head upstairs. I turn on the tv and catch up on last night's shows while I eat and mark and plan. Sometimes I will run on the treadmill while I'm up there. I play with the dogs or take them for walks some nights. Other nights I just crash and fall asleep for a while in front of the tv. Then my husband calls or I call him. I get to hear about his ship and his coworkers. He gets to hear about the dogs and my kids. When there's not much else to say, we hang up. Sometimes I call my sister and talk to my niece and nephew ( 4 and 2 years old). 
10:30ish - When the evening is almost done, I do a little blog hopping or reading (yes, for pleasure!) and fall into bed... where I proceed lay awake and think about everything I need to do the next day. When I finally nod off, I dream about summer vacation and long weekends! lol

Wow. I guess people can see now why we teachers are so tired. I was told once that teachers make upwards of 5,000 decisions in a day and I believe it. It may not be "physical" work, but it's hard nonetheless. 

Link up with other crazy teachers like me and realize that you area not alone!



  1. HAHA I totally stop at Walmart the morning of and get supplies I need for school!! I am such a procrastinator! I always wait until the absolute last minute. Not my most shining quality. lol

  2. I am guilty of a morning Wal-Mart stop too!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

  3. I was exhausted by 10:30 am and I was just reading it. Wow, I definitely could NEVER be a teacher. Hats off to all of you who make this commitment to teaching our kids. You truly are amazing!!!