Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Day in the Life of Me

As part of the #MTBoS blogging initiative, I get to share with you a little glimpse into my life.  Don't get too excited.

5:15 a.m.  Awakened by husband getting up to go to the gym.  I always try to go back to sleep, but my mind starts turning about the day ahead and it usually doesn't happen.

5:45 a.m. Decide not to wait for my alarm and just go ahead and get the day started.

5:50 a.m. Shower, dress, make-up and hair.

6:20 a.m. Move to the kitchen and grab some coffee while contemplating breakfast.  Would like my usual smoothie, but we have only one banana and I know hubs will want a protein smoothie after the gym, so I leave that for him and grab yogurt and granola bar.

6:40 a.m. Pack up a lunch of leftovers from the night before, more coffee to go and grab my bags and head out the door.

7:00 a.m. Arrive in the parking lot of school to find only one other car besides the night custodian's car.  Coach B is always the first to arrive at school.  No matter how early I get there, I have never beat him.

7:05 a.m. Arrive in my classroom and turn on all my lamps, my Scentsy and my light up letter D.  Fire up the computer and get logged in.  Put my lunch in the little fridge I keep behind my desk, lock my purse in my tall filing cabinet.

7:10 a.m.  Settle in to my chair open up my email, pinnacle, google drive and TweetDeck.  Browse TweetDeck briefly, then move on to emails.

7:20 a.m. Snapchat my daily "Good Morning Fam" to all of my kids and hubs.  My girls are big on keeping the streak going.  I open up my daily agenda powerpoint that I project on the screen in my room.  I add a new warm-up to my On level's agenda and add a reminder that we are having a quiz next week.  On my Honor's agenda, a note to pick up the test review on the way into class, a final reminder about tomorrow's test, a reminder that homework stamp sheets are also due tomorrow.  After finishing, I project 1st period's agenda and freeze the screen.

7:40 a.m.  I look over today's lesson on factoring with my OL class, we are focusing on reviewing factoring that they should have learned in Alg 1 before moving onto some more challenging factoring.  I print out tests that I made a couple days ago and get those ready to take to the copy room later in the day.

8:00 a.m. I head to the library to find our CTA to scan a make up semester exam for a student who went out of the country for the month of December.  From there I headed to the counselor's office to discuss a new student from Spain who may have been misplaced in her math class.  We decide to let her take the first semester Alg 2 exam to see if she would even be prepared to enter my class this spring before we contact the higher ups about her placement.

8:15 a.m. A quick trip to the ladies room and then back to my room to prepare for tutorials.

8:20 a.m.  I have three student come in for some help on homework.  Two had been absent for a couple days and the other girl just needed some clarification on last night's homework.  We discussed a few problems and worked out some examples on the board together.

8:50 a.m.  Students fill the hallways now, heading to first period.  I take up my spot at the corner outside of the library with two other teachers and make constant reminders to kids to remove their earbuds and take their hats off.  "Walk and talk" we tell them to keep them from stopping and congesting the halls.  10 minutes is entirely too long to walk the halls before school.  We have some students who lap the entire building three times before finally heading to their first period class.

9:00 a.m. First period starts, Honors Algebra 2, and we are simply working on review problems in preparation for the test tomorrow.  Students work together on the review, comparing their work and methods as they go.  This is a very productive class that works very diligently at whatever I ask of them.

9:50 a.m First period ends and I'm back in the hall for duty.  I discuss with the teacher next door how the review is going as her 2nd period is also Honors Alg 2.  We talk about problems they are struggling on as we move the kids along to their next class.

9:55 a.m. Second period starts with the Pledge of Allegiance to the US Flag, the Texas Flag and then a moment of silence.  A few minutes of announcements and then class begins.  Students work on the warm up with their groups, then I ask volunteers to work the problems on the board.  We continue discussing factoring and practice together on several types of problems.  With 15 minutes left in class I hand out a Comp Check on adding, subtracting and multiplying polynomials.  They are thrilled when I tell them no homework tonight.

10:47 a.m. Second period ends, back in the hall for passing periods and a little pow wow with my neighbor teachers.

10:52 a.m. Third period and back to test reviewing with my Honors kiddos.  This class seems to be struggling more with special factoring patterns, so I give them lots of problems on the white board as additional practice, allowing them to explain to each other their thought process as they work they problem.  We go back and forth with work on the board and work on their paper.  By the end of the period my boards are filled with their work.

11:42 a.m. Third period ends and its back in the hall.

11:47 a.m. The start of 4th period and my first conference period.  I work on grading the comp checks from 2nd period and updating my gradebook.  I then continue to work on a Mandatory Tutorial form that I am creating for our school.  We are going to try to have a uniform form that all teachers in the building use.  I attend to some emails that came in that morning.

12: 15 p.m. Highlight of my day was a text message from a young gal who did her observation in my class last fall.  She found out she was going to be student teaching in my district this spring and wanted the scoop on her assigned teacher.  I didn't know the other teacher well enough to provide any help, but we chit chatted a bit and promised to get together soon after she started so she could fill me in on how it was going.  I love her excitement!

12:35 p.m.  Lunchtime!  I walk to the math office where I meet 3 other teachers for lunch.  We talk shop and our lives over lunch.  This is precious time to me, meeting with other adults during the day.  It really help to be encouraged by each other because sometimes this job is hard.

1:00 p.m. Lunch ends and we move on to TAD tutorial time.  This has been a new program this year and a miserable failure.  Because of that we are going to be implementing a new system in just two weeks, Block Lunch.  Another member of the Professional Learning Team and myself spend the next 30 minutes going to two different classes to do a presentation on the soon to be coming Block Lunch.  We go over what it is, what the student expectations are, what kind of offerings will be available to students during that time, etc.  We have been visiting TAD classes for the last week as part of a team that is training the rest of the campus to prepare for Block Lunch.  Everyone is very excited about the new plan.  Students will get a full hour for lunch and to attend tutorials or club meetings or to play ball in the gym, etc.  We are giving student's choice in how they spend that time.  Everyone is super excited about the change.  Three other schools in our district have started this schedule successfully, so we are hoping the transition on our campus goes smoothly.

1:30 p.m. Another passing period and hall monitoring.

1: 35 p.m. 5th Period begins.  Another Honors Alg 2 class reviewing for a test.  I have a couple students who missed class earlier in the week, so I try to spend some time catching them up.  Fewer questions from this class, and more groups working together on the review problems.

2:25 p.m. 5th period ends and I move to the hallway to monitor the transition between classes again.  Thankfully no excitement today.

2:30 p.m. 6th period and all of the math department is off together.  Today the Algebra 1 team meets and I see in on the meeting to offer feedback and monitor how things are going in those classes.  Our district math support arrives and sits in on the meeting too.  We discuss plans for the next few days and ways that we can meet those kids that are more advanced in our classes when we have 40-50% Sped kids and CMIT kids in these classes.  It's a constant struggle to reach the low low ones without cheating the higher ones of a challenging education.  We discussed possible ways to differentiate, and threw out a few ideas on things to try.

3:20 p.m. End of meeting and end of 6th period.  I stay behind in the math office to meet with our district support gal, Karen.  We discuss the new math teachers in our building this year, there are five of them, and how they are progressing.  We discuss ways to encourage them and offer support.

4:00 p.m. Karen leaves the building to beat the after school rush and I return to my classroom to work on plans for our next unit.  I realize then that I didn't get my copies made, but there isn't enough time now before tutorials.

4:15 p.m. School ends and a large group of students begin to drift into my room.  It's the day before a test, so I have more than the usual tutorial attendees.  Some just want a quiet place to work where I am available if they have a question.  Other's are there for specific questions on the review.  Other's are there to listen to everyone else and see if I slip up and share something specific about the test tomorrow.  The other Honors Alg 2 teacher has hall duty this afternoon, so I have a mixture of her students and my students.

5:30 p.m. I still have quite a few kids in the room working.  I begin to rearrange the desks in my room to rows to be ready for the test tomorrow morning.  I stop occasionally to answer a question or two, but most of those that are left are the high achieving kids who don't know when to stop.  I enjoy bantering back and forth with them and then throwing up some really challenging questions to try and stump them, but they are not quitters.  The keep at it until they get it, sometimes collectively.  They will all make almost perfect scores on the test tomorrow, I am sure of it.

6:00 p.m. I tell the last little group that it's time to close up shop as I have some things to do before I head home.  I remember that I still have a date with the copier after I everyone leaves.

6:10 p.m I finally make it to the copy room and start coping my four versions of the test for all the Honors classes.  I catch up on social media while the copier hums.

6:30 p.m I am finally done copying and quickly head back to my room to lock up the copies and gather my things to go home.

6:40 p.m I'm out of the building and in the car.  It's dark as usual.

7:00 p.m I arrive home to taco night.  My two girls that are still living at home are gone for the evening.  One is at youth group, the other at volleyball practice.  My son and hubs are sitting at the kitchen table eating.  I fix myself a plate and join them.  We catch each other up on our days while we eat.

7:30 p.m. Dinner is over, time to clean up the kitchen.  There are dishes from lunch and dinner.  We are two blocks from the Senior High School with off campus lunch, so my kids and their friends often come to our place for lunch.  With thier limited time, there's never time for clean up and so it becomes a nightly routine to clean up after a group of teenagers that drop in for lunch.

8:00 p.m. Kitchen is as clean as I'm willing to leave it and I head into the office to do a little work.  I continue to plan for the upcoming unit on graphing polynomials while my hubs works at his desk beside me.  At least we are spending time together, kind of.  I get distracted easily with twitter.  So much to learn from the #MTBoS, it's hard to stay away.

8:30 p.m. Daughter arrives home from volleyball and catches me up on her day.  She's in the recruiting process, trying to find a place to play college ball.  She talked to a couple college coaches on the phone today and was excited about some upcoming visits to these campuses.  We've been through this once with our oldest who is playing in college now, but the excitement still gets us going.  We then discuss the weekend trip we will be making to San Antonio for a tournament.  I'm going to miss this next year.

9:00 p.m. Daughter moves off to the kitchen for food and I go back to twitter and very little work.

9:10  p.m. Other daughter arrives home from youth group and we discuss her day.  She needs me to order books from Amazon for a class, so we hop on and get that done.  I also notice that she has a browser window open on my PC with prom dresses, so we discuss that a bit.

9:30 p.m. I'm done for the day and head off to get ready for bed.  Play with the puppies for a few minutes before the bedtime routine.

10:00 p.m. In bed with my puppies snuggled up next to me.


  1. I enjoyed reading about your day! I'm a bit jealous of your 9am start time. That's what time my HS started and I really enjoyed it. I love that you are available to your students before and after school. I do that as well and it's always interesting to see the group that comes, especially the day before a test! You've got the kids that come regularly, the honors kids that have specific questions and want additional practice, and the kids coming hoping you give them insider information about the test. Glad to know that happens everywhere, not just with my students! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    1. I see a few teachers that start at 7:30 and are out much earlier in the day. I kind of like that idea too. I guess the grass is always greener, right?