A Teacher's Schedule
Most people have some idea of what a typical school day looks like from their own personal experiences as a student. Memories of complicated math problems, interesting science experiences, great novels, and many nights of homework are probably a few that come to mind. After years of sitting in a classroom, have you ever wondered about the teaching profession? Here is a glimpse into the typical day of a teacher at MCHS!
Before the school day begins, every teacher at MCHS makes themselves available to their students. Last minute questions about homework and preparations for the day are just a few things that happen before the school day begins.
As the warning bell rings and students hurry to their first period class, we are waiting to greet our students knowing that the first impression of the day can make or break the mood of a teenager. As they sleepily enter the classroom, we enthusiastically begin the lesson and engage the students for a full day of learning.
Throughout the day we have classes of students come and go. With every class that comes through our door we give our best because we value education and want to pass our love of learning on to our students. Along with teaching content, we counsel them about their problems, talk with them about their dreams, inspire them to reach a potential they can’t yet see for themselves.
As the students have 5 minutes to get to their next class, we have 5 minutes to talk with students, check emails and prepare for the next group of students who have already started walking through our door. During our planning period and lunch period we continue to complete tasks that never seem to end. Everyone knows that teachers grade papers, but today’s teacher does more than that. Today’s teachers are data analysts that use each assessment as a tool to guide instruction. Planning periods are spent trying to figure out the best way to reach the unique group of students we have for this semester. In addition, this 45 minute time period is used to communicate with parents, post grades online, grade, plan, and communicate with social workers, counselors, case managers and other support staff.
Another part of our day is helping our students during our brand new AIM period, which is in addition to our five academic classes we teach. During AIM, we make sure our students are growing as academic learners. We develop relationships with these students and help them realize the awesome people they were born to be. We facilitate them to become better each day by making sure they receive the intervention that will bring them one step higher each day. We work with our own AIM students as well as other students from our content classes. We teach our students how to be accountable for their own academic growth and education. We create an atmosphere which pushes them to be more successful than they were the day before. We change their mindset from “I can’t” to “I CAN!”
As the day continues and the teaching and grading continues, in the back of a typical teacher’s mind is the list of other things that need to be completed. Letters of recommendations, reports, staffings, conferences, research on latest curriculum changes, creating and revising assessments, creating and revising lessons, interventions, the list goes on and on. A favorite part of the day is when a student stops by just to talk. Although there are a million of things to get done, giving our students our time is more important than the list of tasks we have to accomplish. As the last class period ends for the day, we spend the final moments of the school day communicating with students that we were unable to reach during the day. We prepare for the next day and pack a bag full of assignments we plan to grade at home.
As the school day ends, many of us begin to lead our extra-curricular activities. While as demanding as the academic field has become, the extra-curricular field has become just as demanding. The athletic conference is becoming more competitive and the demands to be involved are increasing. We sponsor activities and coach sports knowing how much these activities enriched our lives when we were young. We also know there are some lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.
As the day comes to an end and we go home to our families, most of us to help our own children with their homework, and we reflect on the day that has passed. We evaluate what we did right and what we can do to make things better for our students. As night falls, we grade those last few assignments that we didn’t find time to finish during the day. We mentally prepare for another day knowing that teaching is not just a job, it is who we are. It never leaves our thoughts or our heart. We care about kids. We care about this community. Some days are very difficult and we wonder why we do it. Some days are so uplifting and inspiring that we know exactly why we do it. We do it because we know we are making a difference and at the end of the day, that is all that matters.