Skip to main content

My Teacher Day Today

This was my day today.

I walk into my classroom at 7:45 -
a little later than on most days.
I usually arrive at 7:30 or so.
Our school day starts at 8:00.

Some of my students are waiting outside the door.
I welcome them back.

I check morning announcements and try to greet all of my students as they come in.

No time for much of anything this morning.
We head right away to the PYP assembly.
Grade 4 is presenting.
We learn about inquirers, the design process and the cool projects the 4th graders are engaged in.
We play Kahoot to see what we remember from their presentation.

It's 9:15. My students are off to art.
I won't see them until after lunch, for literacy block, at 1:10.

While they're in art, recess, music, instrumentals, Spanish, and lunch, I try to tidy up my desk.
I try to plan.
I read and respond to emails.
Before I even realize it my morning is done.
I go meet a teacher friend for lunch.

Then, it's back to the classroom.

The kids write letters to their parents in their home-school journals.
Most of them write about the special birthday singer at our PYP assembly.

Then, it's time for some poetry - Science Curse by John Sciezka and Lane Smith.

A few minutes later, Ms. Delaney, one of our special ed teachers, comes to talk to the class about immigrant and refugee children in Minneapolis where she taught previously. The discussion is lively and fits really well with Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, our current read aloud. Ms. Delaney brings the story of Kek, the main character, into focus as she connects real life experiences to what we are reading in Katherine Applegate's beautiful novel told in verse.

Finally, it's 2:00 and my students grab their devices to write their slice of life for today. Some finish quickly. Others take longer. I find that I'm doing all of the editing. I'm working harder than they are. I let them know that has to change next week.

Afterwards, some kids lie down to read or to keep writing.
There is a quiet hum in the room.
I sit back to observe and I smile.

At the bell, I welcome back my student who has voluntarily chosen to stay after school on Fridays for a 45 minute math session with me.

It's almost 4:00. I grab my three teacher bags and walk with my son out to the parking lot.

It's time to go home.

Crossposted to the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge, Day #4


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Teacher I Want to Be

The
I have been dismayed to realize that despite my self-image as a teacher with a learner centered classroom, I am far from truly achieving that goal. 

I have been listening carefully to myself lately, and I don't like what I hear myself saying to the kids. Instead of empowering my students to take ownership of their learning, I am still the director on the stage. I still ask leading questions rather than ones that push the learner to figure things out for herself. I realize I often spoon feed my students hopeful that they will give me the answer I'm looking for. An answer that will make my job easier. Answers that will fit with what I expect students to say despite the fact that 30 years in education has taught me nothing if not that students are unpredictable, and if we prepare for anything, that is what we should be prepared for. 
Teacher
An anecdote. The other day I was talking with a student about the fact that she was abandoning more books than she was finishing. I was as…

Mini Lessons

Sometimes, I plan too many teaching points for one lesson. For example, instead of focusing on one strategy that students need in order to become more proficient readers and writers, I try to teach several strategies at the same time. 

Sometimes, I stretch out a teaching point beyond the 10- or 12-minute time limit I've given myself because I worry that my mini lesson wasn't enough or my students won't have understood what I intended to teach. So, sometimes, I beat the lesson to a pulp one too many times, or forget to have the kids practice the lesson before they go off to read or write. (Asking students to practice a lesson after you teach it, with you right there to observe and help guide students through the process, is very effective. Try not to skip this step!)  

Here's an example of a mini lesson that lasted less than 10 minutes and resulted in better learning.

My students are in the second round of historical fiction book clubs. In a couple of weeks, we will start …

A Confession

I have a confession to make.

I want to write a book. 
A professional book. 
I think I have a lot to say. 
I think others could benefit from my experience.
After all, I have been an educator for over 30 years.

But, what could I possibly say that hasn't been said before?
What new knowledge could I add to the table?
Who would even bother to read what I have to say?

These are questions borne of fear.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of not being able to complete such a daunting project. 
(At least, that's what it feels like to me right now.)
Fear that I won't make time.
Fear that I'll run out of time.

But, over the last couple of days, I've gotten some encouraging words of support from the Innovative Teaching Academy - 
#ITA17 Facebook group. 

You can do it!Write for yourself.
But the message that is propelling me forward is this one: 
It doesn't matter how many times something has been said...each time someone else says it, new people hear it...and that's where you make the d…