It’s Not Just Teaching..

What do teachers do all day? I’ve heard that some people think that teachers hardly do anything all day or that all we do is talk to kids and play all day. That is so far from the truth.

We have to be in our classrooms at 7:10am, ready to teach, and we end our day at 3:00pm, or whenever our last car rider leaves. I leave the house at 6:25am every morning to get to school by 6:50am. I used to stay after school every day until well after 4:00pm. Lately, though, I have been using my day to plan and get my things ready for the next day, so that I can leave at 3:00pm like most of the other teachers.

Listening to other teachers talk about the interruptions we deal with on a daily basis made me want to actually keep track of the things that happen in our day-to-day.. So, that’s what I did. Now, some days/weeks are worse than others, but this is what has happened the past four days:


Tuesday
6:50am- Arrive at school. Received a text message from my co-teacher asking if I could open her door and watch her kids because she was running late.
7:10- Students arrive. Watched both classes until 7:25
7:15- Call from a teacher asking for two students to come to her room
8:00- Texts to and from my mentor teacher discussing my upcoming observation and the Board of Education meeting I had to attend
8:00- Started putting grades in (the quarter ends tomorrow)
8:15- Breakfast
8:40- Group of students leave for intervention
8:45- Math RTI
9:15- Math Freckle Assessment
9:20- Students come back from intervention
10:00- Regular Math; Go Math Assignment
10:35- Snack
10:55- Spelling/Vocab Tests
11:15- Started Writing
11:20- Was able to sneak to the bathroom while another teacher was in my room
11:30- Overheard students talking about how another student just took a pill. Ask her about it and she said she took an ibuprofen. I asked her if she took it before school and she said no, it was during.
11:35-11:45- Went to the Principal’s office to deal with student taking the pill
12:10- Bring students to lunch
12:47- Phone call
1:03- Went outside to get students from recess

1:08- Bathroom
1:10- Take them to PE
1:15- Stopped in the hall by an aide to discuss students’ behaviors
1:20- Printed out itinerary for tonight’s BOE meeting
1:30- Was stopped in the office to have a student’s essay read to me
1:34- Was called into my teaching partner’s room
1:36- Able to relax for a few minutes
1:50- Students are back from PE
1:50- Had someone cover my room so an aide and I could take four students to the office to discuss their behavior
2:15- Back in class. Had students work on SS questions
2:25- Handed out cupcakes for a student’s birthday
2:37- Packed up
2:45- Bus riders dismiss
2:50- Car riders dismiss
3:00- Leave
3:30- Get home
5:15- Leave for BOE meeting
6:00- BOE meeting
7:15- Leave
7:45- Finally home for the night

Wednesday
6:50- Arrive at school
7:10- Students arrive
7:15- Call from teacher to have two students come to her classroom
7:20- Asked to watch the other classroom
7:50- Got a new student.
8:05- A parent asked for student’s grades
8:15- Breakfast
8:18- Text from intervention teacher
8:40- Students leave for intervention
8:45- Math RTI: Math review
9:00- Finish equivalent fractions PowerPoint
9:25- Students come back from intervention
9:50- Aide came in and asked if I needed anything

10:15- Snack
10:25- Start Reading. Reading PowerPoint
11:10- Bathroom break
11:15- Start Writing.
12:10- Lunch
12:38- Call from attendance clerk
12:40- Recess duty
1:04- Bring students inside
1:04- Text Principal
1:06- Called Principal
1:08- Bathroom break
1:10- Take them outside for itinerants
1:50- Bring them back in
1:57- Start Social Studies
2:03- Student asks to go to counselor
2:10- Another student asks to go to counselor
2:18- Call from attendance clerk
2:20- Student leaves early
2:30- Stop to check a student’s Chrome Book history
2:40- Pack up
2:45- Bus riders dismiss
2:50- Car riders dismiss
3:00- Leave
8:00-9:00- Lesson plans for observation and emailing mentor teacher

Thursday
6:37- Received a text asking to watch the other class because she was running late
6:50- Arrive at school
7:10- Students arrive. Watch other class until 7:25
7:32- Watch other class again
7:39- Texting about observation
7:41- Library teacher comes in with Chrome Book for new student
7:45- Aide came in to collect permission slips for upcoming field trip
8:15- Breakfast
8:24- Student asked to go to counselor
8:40- Students leave for intervention
8:45- Completed PD surveys
8:50- Math Freckle Entrance Slip
9:00- Text my mentor teacher because I messed up observation times
9:10- Students finished Natural Disasters Oral Presentation
9:20- Switched math and reading because of observation
9:28- Students presented their Natural Disaster Presentation
9:35- Start Reading
9:39- Counselor called to see student
10:09- Principal came in to fix desks
10:20- Started Math.
10:20- Observation

11:05- Mentor teacher finishes observation and leaves
11:10- Aide covered class so I could run to the bathroom
11:15- Snack
11:20- Student goes to counselor
11:30- Math Freckle Exit Slip for observation
11:35- Teacher came in and left because we had to switch the schedule around
12:14- Untied a knot in a shoe
12:20- Lunch
1:03- Students back from recess
1:10- Bathroom/Itinerants
1:12- Stopped at co-teacher’s class. She was with a student, so I couldn’t talk to her
1:20- Made copies
1:28- Worked on plans for next week
1:35- Made more copies
1:40- Teacher called. Discussed student council meeting
1:45- Co-teacher text
1:50- Co-teacher sent reminder text
1:52- Students back from itinerants
1:52- Student council went outside for quick meeting
2:00- Students came back from meeting
2:05- Social Studies review
2:15- Secretary called
2:17- Student left with nurse
2:24- Secretary called and said student was going home
2:25- Another student takes student’s belongings to office
2:30- Cupcakes for a student’s birthday
2:40- Intervention teacher comes in to sell candy bars

2:42- Pack up
2:45- Bus riders leave
2:50- Car riders leave
3:04- Co-teacher calls me into her room
3:10- Finish post-observation form from observation
3:20- Meet with mentor teacher to discuss observation
4:15- Leave

Friday
6:55- Arrive at school
7:10- Students arrive
7:20- Teacher calls to have students come to her room
8:15- Breakfast
8:18- Talked to mentor teacher about student voice survey
8:38- Intervention teacher came in and said she may be late
8:42- Students leave for intervention
8:48- Principal and co-teacher come in to update our versus board
9:15- Math
10:15- Snack
10:15- Student leaves to get water for the classroom
10:20- Secretary called. Student is leaving.
10:35- Reading
10:40- Aide comes in to ask if I needed anything
11:10- Worked on Student Voice Survey questions
11:20- Text mentor teacher about questions
11:30- Writing. Had to come up with prompt on the spot.
11:40- Taught new student how to write using our format
11:50- Announcement that says 4th and 5th grade need to go to lunch now
11:55- Lunch
12:51- Call from Music teacher’s sub
1:10- Back from recess/Fun Friday
1:10- Bathroom/Music
1:10- PLC meeting
1:15- Meeting hadn’t started yet, so I ran to the office to talk to Principal
1:17- PLC started
1:25- Aide comes in to sit in on the meeting
1:50- End PLC/Students come back from itinerants
1:52- Aide covers class so I can run to the office to talk to Principal/bathroom
2:00- Have students work on make-up work
2:02- Work on Student Survey
2:15- Finished survey
2:25- Co-teacher came in to discuss and explain t-shirt design contest
2:35- Students take survey
2:40- Pack up
2:42- Students go to hallway to get their bags of food for the weekend
2:45- Bus riders leave
2:50- Car riders leave
2:55- Go to office to talk to Principal about observation
3:00- Leave

This week wasn’t even that bad, in terms of interruptions. We usually have a lot more.. But the reality is, I teach bell-to-bell and have to make time for all of these things, too. By no means do teacher have it easy. Our days don’t start at 7 and end at 3. We have PDs to attend, staff meetings, parent-teacher conferences, PLC meetings, lesson planning, etc. Being a brand new teacher in the district, I have even more to do.. But in the end, it’s worth it. I love teaching, and apparently it is starting to show because my mentor said my observation went really well and she can tell that I am passionate about teaching math!


What misconceptions do people have about your job?

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