A Day in My Life

Mission #7 for Explore the MTBoS: record the details of one day this week. So here we go… a sneak peek into my Monday.

6:10 – My alarm goes off, but I decide to lie in bed listening to the pouring rain and dreading going outside in it. Get up, check twitter while eating breakfast, shower, pack lunch and head out the door at 7:40.

8:00 – Arrive at school and check my emails – no extra classes today, phew! Print off worksheets for the days lessons, and an assessment notification for my seniors. Print off some work for a casual covering a colleague’s class and check in with a teacher who’s class I have once a fortnight (today!).

8:25 – Weekly staff briefing. A run-down of what’s happening this week. The highlights of this week include a chair and desk audit on Tuesday, evacuation and lock-down drills on Wednesday, and lots of room changes due to special events.

8:45 – Head off to our first session of the day. This is where my school is a little different (read: amazing!). Every teacher has a group of about 15 students that they are responsible for looking out for – academically, socially, emotionally… everything. We see these students for 40mins every morning and usually have time to help them with homework and assessments, talk about any behavioural issues, and generally check in with them. This morning though, we’re running numeracy sessions, so after marking the roll students disperse to their numeracy groups. This morning we looked at some probability statements and addressed common probability misconceptions.

9:25 – My seniors! My year 12 Mathematics class has a grand total of 6 students. One student from the other Mathematics class has a free period occasionally when my lesson runs, so he joins us today. I hand out the notification for the test they have in 2 weeks, and we have a quick discussion about it. They work through a sheet that encourages them to think about the geometry of the derivative, and what the concepts we’ve learnt actually mean (how do we know the curve y=4x^2 is always concave up?) and then complete some review questions.

10:12 – Off to the year 7 class that I have once a fortnight – but when I show up their usual teacher is there! Turns out he was asked to cover another lesson, so since he wasn’t getting the session off class to plan, he may as well teach his own class. I shuffle off to teach another year 7 class a lesson that I haven’t looked at yet. Luckily I can wing year 7 probability.

11 – Recess! Back to the staffroom to check my emails again, eat a muesli bar and chat to the teacher I share a year 8 class with about where they’re up to.

11:25 – The staffroom empties out as everyone heads off to class, but I have the session off to be super productive! I work through the pile of exams that I marked the other day (5 hours of marking) and collate the marks. I’ll enter them all into our markbook tomorrow. I have a discussion with another teacher about one of my students who hasn’t handed in an assessment for her class, and make a note to chase it up tomorrow morning when I see him.

12:12 – Year 8 lesson on finding the volume of cylinders. We work out the formula together, then they have exercises and HotMaths work to do. A fairly uneventful lesson.

1 – Lunch. A toasted sandwich and a banana. Tomorrow I have sport and I’m taking some girls down to the pool, so I spend 10mins grilling a nearby PE teacher for ideas on what activities to do with them. Talk to my head teacher about moving students up or down classes next year, and about whether we’re going to change the brand of calculators students buy from the school (a very dramatic decision with some teachers adamant that their brand is better). Duck downstairs to visit the lovely ladies in the finance office to ask about buying train tickets for an excursion next week.

1:35 – Year 9. We’re starting the new topic of graphs – straight lines and parabolas mainly. We start off today with the basics of completing a table of values and graphing straight lines on a number plane to jog their memories (it’s all in there somewhere from last year right??). In the last 10mins I hand back their tests. We went over the tests last lesson, but I had to recollect them to record marks.

2:22 – I spend the last session of the day planning for tomorrow – finalising lessons and printing worksheets.

3:20 – Staff meeting – nothing exciting to report this week.

5 – Head home via the shops to grab some stuff for dinner. Usually I’d spend another hour or two working on lessons for tomorrow or later in the week, but I was actually productive last weekend so I’m a little ahead of myself, which means I have time to sit down and write about my day!

Now its time to make dinner… gnocchi I think.


4 thoughts on “A Day in My Life

  1. Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of being responsible for some students, especially when so many kids these days don’t have parents that do that. We have homeroom and I wish it was structured with that idea in mind.

  2. Like JW, hearing about your advisory session was really interesting. How do you juggle all of the different aspects of their lives, and how do you keep track of them and relate to them individually? I’d love to hear more.

    I’m also curious to hear more about…
    * the whole coverage situation y’all have going. It’s to fit in additional prep periods? How does it work?
    * what’s going on with the calculator debate? 🙂

    Thanks for the peek into your teaching life! I look forward to more soon!

    • Hey Justin,

      That first session every morning is one of the main things I absolutely love about our school! As I said, we all have about 15 students that we look out for. The general idea is to form a really positive relationship with those kids so that they have someone to turn to if they need anything. We try to get to know them all as well as we can. Most students just need a bit of help academically – a push in the right direction, or advice on an assignment or homework. Others need to be reminded of behaviour expectations. Any time a student gets in trouble that information gets passed back to their teacher, and we deal with it. It means we have a more holistic view of each student, and sometimes provides us with background as to why they’re misbehaving. Some students have some crazy things going on in their lives, and we’re usually the first person they talk to about it – we put them in contact with the counsellor if needed, or arrange some adjustments to help them cope at school. Above us we have house leaders that we can refer to for extra support if we have students with any major issues. Because we have them for a whole year, we get to know most of the kids fairly well 🙂 I think I could write a whole post on this! (actually that might not be a bad idea….)

      As for the coverage: When a teacher is sick or going to be away from school for the whole day, a casual teacher usually comes in to take their classes. If that teacher wasn’t timetabled to have many classes that day (lots of planning time) or if someone has a meeting for part of the day, we are required to cover each others lessons (either as an extra or because we’re under-load on our normal timetable). So each morning we have to check the daily changes and cross our fingers that we don’t have an extra playground duty or a class to cover!

      The school buys calculators at a discounted price and then we sell them to students each year – so all students have the same calculator. The debate at the moment is whether we should switch brands – some teachers really like and are used to the one we have now, others *cough*me are all for switching to another brand which is much more user-friendly for students 🙂

  3. I love when I get ahead, even if it’s only a day ahead. It’s so hard for teachers to do that especially when we never know how students are going to respond to a lesson. Thanks for sharing!

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