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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

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(4) How can I strike a balance between student choice and making sure my students learn what they need to learn at any given time?

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Any thoughts are more than welcomed!