A day in the life of a first year teacher, as told by her thoughts

6 AM Okay. Wednesday. Hump Day! I’ve got this.

7 AM Second cup of coffee, check! I’m at school early, gonna get tons of stuff done! But first, gotta check my email.

7:15 AM Wait, what did I plan to do this morning? Oh yeah, copy reading comprehension packets!

7:20 AM Why, copier, WHY do you hate me?? I don’t know what your incessant beeping means and can you please just stop before I have to fess up that I broke you?

7:45 AM Copier crisis averted. Now to sort and staple…

8:00 AM What is that noise? Oh. The bell.

8:15 AM Exponents? I don’t know how to do exponents! What is this madness??

8:17 AM Oh wait. Wait. Yes I do know this. It’s scientific notation I don’t get.

8:45 AM Oh fifth graders. Please alway keep your outlandish sense of humor. I love it when you gleefully show me a new magic trick you’ve learned or tell me about your pet frog.

9:30 AM Multiplication tables! Now these I definitely have. Except the eights. Eights are tricky.

9:33 AM Hey kids! I have these catchy multiplication songs for you to listen to! It’ll help you memorize your multiplication facts.

9:39 AM Dang it. Now I have some ridiculous song about how Robin Hood can multiply you can to you just have to try stuck in my head. It’s gonna be a long day.

10 AM Oh boy. Meltdowns galore. Let’s ditch our regularly scheduled reading practice for a public service announcement about being kind to and supportive of each other so I don’t have to do this every single day.

10:30 AM Lunch room duty with the kinders. It’s pea and carrot day, oh boy! And I see no one has designed a kid friendly milk carton yet.

11:00 AM Now that no one is crying or glaring or huffing and puffing, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled reading comprehension practice.

11:29 AM Sorry, stomach. No time for lunch. Can I trick you into being quiet by gulping some water? No?

11:45 AM More math. I really don’t remember doing this much math in school. I must have blocked it out.

12:30 PM Time to snarf a Swiss roll from the vending machine because I almost never pack my lunch and I know that’s stupid. But I need sugar NOW!

12:35 PM Well, look at that. Another class is getting a crash course in being nice to each other. Must be something in the water today.

12:40 PM Moving on. Facts versus opinions. As much as I want to agree with you, little girl, “All cats are beautiful” is, technically, not a fact. Sorry.

1:00 PM Yay, it’s read aloud time!! I think I’m more excited about this than the kids.

1:25 PM Oh dang it, why won’t my Smart Board work? I had this really fun activity planned. Technology hates me today.

1:29 PM Backup plan: brain teasers.

1:45 PM Reading fluency practice: also known as how many times can I listen to the same passage being read before my brain short circuits.

2:00 PM Okay, what paperwork needs to go to which kid before they leave? Now, promise you’ll make sure mom and dad see this. I mean it. It’s really important. And bring it back signed!! Please, for the love of all things bright and beautiful don’t lose it.

2:05 PM Now, to get a paper from the EC file so I can finish my IEP paperwork.

2:10 PM Trek upstairs to office…sort through nine billion keys for the one that unlocks correct filing cabinet. Sort through nine billion files to find right one. Trek back to room.

2:20 PM Trek to office again. File needed is not actually in EC file. Silly Megan.

2:23 PM Check mailbox. Ooh! A free pen!

2:30 PM Kids are leaving, now I can crank out some paperwork like a boss!

2:38 PM Just kidding. I don’t know how to do this part. Or do I? Maybe? Hang on, let me see…

2:40 PM Nope. No clue. Gotta go ask my fellow EC teacher.

2:48 PM Okay, resume. Focus. Focus. Focus. Oh, look how cool my new pen is!

3:15 PM Paperwork down. Penciled in 3 IEP meetings. Now must complete ritual sacrifice so gods of scheduling coordination will continue to favor me.

3:20 PM Recording reading fluency scores. I wonder what my reading fluency score would be.

3:29 PM Can I give myself a reading fluency test? No. No. Finish working. Make rough plan for improving fluency over the course of semester.

3:45 PM I can totally give myself a reading fluency test!

3:49 PM No. Cannot give self reading fluency test. Am college graduate. Cannot measure reading fluency on 5th grade level passage. Darn.

3:50 PM Check email. File papers for next day. Check email. Close windows, turn off fan. Lock up.

4:00 PM Walk to car. Wait. What did I forget??

4:03 PM Planner. Rescue from room. Return to car. Leave for real.

Come home to this. Hello cat.

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