Friday, January 23, 2015

A Day in the Life of an English Teacher (And Working Mom)

 Like most English teachers and working moms, I'm half-awake while writing this. I stayed up late last night so I'm not quite awake yet, even though it's 9:39 in the morning and I have already drank one coca-cola. Even though I'm still bleary-eyed, I am writing up this blog post about my daily schedule because this is the time I have devoted to writing on my blog. Every minute counts while you're a teacher (and a mom).

A Day in the Life of an English Teacher (And Working Mom)

6:30 am - 8:10 am
 Usually I try to wake up at 6:30, but sometimes I wake up at 6:45 or even 7:00, depending on how tired I am. The mornings that I wake up late I usually show up at school half-ready and spend the first five to ten minutes fixing my hair and putting on make-up. I have a mirror app on my computer, so I usually use it to prepare myself. I have to be at school at 7:40, but classes start at 8:10.

  All of our bedrooms are upstairs in our duplex, but if I start messing around in the bathroom upstairs, I wake up the boys. So I prepare everything in a bucket the night before and carry the bucket to the downstairs bathroom in the morning. I use my cell phone as a flash light. Clifton wakes up around 8 am and takes the boys to daycare by 9 am.

8:10 am - 12:10 pm
I have four classes before lunch: remediation and three regular English classes. During my remediation class I tutor students who are falling behind in the past or current unit of study. I have around twenty-five students per forty-five minute class. My class starts with ten minutes of writing response to a journal prompt on the board, then a ten minute lecture on a subject pertaining to the unit of study, followed by twenty-five minutes to work independently or in a group on the unit of study project. Today, my students finished a unit on argumentative essays.

12:10 pm - 1:30 pm
 I eat lunch from 12:10 to 12:40, which I usually spend in the faculty lounge with the other teachers. Every three weeks I have lunch duty in the courtyard, where I spend my lunch supervising students running around after they eat their lunch. After lunch is out I have a planning period. I also have a planning period from 9:00 to 9:45 am, which I spend doing similar things, in addition to my daily prayers and eating breakfast. I spend half of my planning hours for a week in meetings with my team, special education, administrative, or federal officials. The other half I write curriculum and lesson plans, answer e-mails and phone messages, and grade, grade, grade!

1:30 pm - 3:10 pm
In the afternoon, I have two classes: my pre-AP class (gifted students) and a regular English class that is over half students with IEPs. The pre-AP class follows the same unit of study as the regular English class except the material has higher level thinking questions and assignments. A paraprofessional aide helps me teach the IEP students during that last class of the day.

3:10 pm - 3:45 pm
Even though school is out at 3:10 pm, I must stay until 3:40 to be available to any other teachers, parents, or administrators who want to meet with me. I usually spend the time preparing for the next day, including erasing my board and writing the next day's information, fixing the desks, and making copies.

My classroom is the one in the bottom right hand corner with the long row of books on the window sill.

3:40- 5:00
 It takes me thirty minutes to commute from my school to home. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and sometimes Fridays I go to the gym by my house for thirty to forty-five minutes before I pick up the boys from daycare.
After running on the treadmill. I also ride the bike and lift weights.

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
After I pick up the boys from daycare, I go home, make them comfortable and occupied, clean up any messes or chores, and cook dinner. I almost always have dinner on the table by 6:30 pm. On Wednesdays, I teach a bible study class to elementary aged children at the church I attend, which involves a meal for my family and a nursery for the boys. On Fridays, we always order carry-out as a treat.

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
 Around this time I try to devote myself to family activities. I give the boys a bath around twice a week, we make a craft or color with crayons, and watch PBS shows I DVRed. I read books to them and read books to myself on the couch. I take care of more chores and things I need to do with school (although I try to do as little school work at home as possible). Clifton's classes end at 7:00 pm.

8:30 pm - 9:00 pm
 Getting the boys to bed is always a struggle, especially Owen. He hates going to bed. We only very rarely get both of the boys to go to bed at the same time, as there is always some amount of crying and whining involved, which disturbs the other toddler trying to sleep. Getting them both to bed feels like VICTORY every night.

9:00 pm - 10:30 pm
 Once the boys are asleep, I relax. I take a bath to get all of the gym sweat off, drink a margarita or glass of wine, read my books, watch shows on the DVR, or mindlessly surf on the Internet. I also have to finish cleaning up the messes the boys have made and lay out clothes for them tomorrow. Clifton will usually be doing something similar or homework. I try to go to bed at 10:30 pm, but almost always go to bed later than I intended.

 My weekends obviously look a lot different than the weekdays. Normally, I shop for groceries on Saturdays with one or both of the boys and then take them to the park. On Sundays, I go to church, eat lunch with my in-laws, and work out at the gym.

 Follow me on Twitter.