“Oh, it must be so nice to have off the whole summer.” The average teacher hears this approximately 3.56 times a month. Ironically, it’s usually the same people who say, “Oh, I could never teach.” Little do the parents know, but summer break is for the safety of the students. It allows teachers to regain some sanity, greatly reducing classroom violence. Allow me to take you on a journey through a day in the life of a teacher.
5:30 am – The alarm clock rings. I hit snooze until the last possible moment, as I have timed my morning routine down to the second. Did you know it takes exactly five minutes, thirty-six seconds to cook a cheese omelet?
7:30 am – I walk into my classroom only to realize I left the window open and the door closed all weekend. The temperature dropped down to twenty degrees Fahrenheit. I begin to wonder how fast I can type in a parka and gloves.
8:00 am – I quickly check my school e-mail and see a message from the principal. He wants to see me during my planning period. With my gloved fingers, I peck out a reply. Meanwhile, I’m racking my brain to figure out what in the world I said to one of my students that could get me in trouble.
8:20 am – I stand outside the classroom waiting to greet students. A substitute teacher asks me why I’m in the hall and where my teacher is. I politely explain that I am the teacher.
8:25 am – The students start to arrive. I tell them to keep their coats on. We are going to learn about the Arctic and I want them to experience its climate first hand.
9:30 am – After saying the pledge, shivering, taking attendance, shivering, and giving an impromptu lesson on the Arctic, the room has finally warmed up enough so the students and I can take off our coats. “Let’s time how long it takes us to take off our coats and gloves and hang them up. We’ll use that later in math.” My students groan. They are sure I’m the only teacher who can turn anything into a math lesson. Little do they know, it’s one of the things teachers are taught in college.
10:30 am – The students and I don our coats again. It’s time for recess and I have duty. Today, one of the kindergarten classes is having an extra recess. I tell my fourth graders not to trample them. As I walk around, I suddenly feel a hand slip into mine. I look down and see one of the kindergartners. She looks up at me and says, “I’m in kindergarten, just like you!” I gently try to explain that I’m a teacher, but she doesn’t buy it. Thankfully, the bell rings before my ego can be further damaged.
12:30 pm – Lunchtime. Finally. I make sure my kids get through the line, then join the other teachers in the lounge. Our discussion ranges from what to do if Tommy kisses Suzy again to the latest episode of “CSI.” Yay for diversity.
1:18 pm – The fire alarm rings in the middle of my students’ science test that just happens to include a bonus question about the Arctic. I groan. My students cheer. Once outside, we get comfortable. Apparently, the kindergartners burned the cookies they were baking. Who puts a smoke detector directly above the oven anyway?
2:30 pm – After dropping off my students at Art class, I walk to Principal Gordon's office. I can hear the band playing the “Jaws” theme. I put on my best fake smile and ask the principal what’s wrong. He assures me I’m not in trouble, and tells me I’ll be getting a new student tomorrow, bringing my class total to twenty-six. I think I’d rather be in trouble.
3:20 pm – After picking my students up from Art, I tell my students we will be getting a new student tomorrow and ask who would like to assist her. All Twenty-five hands shoot up in the air. I inform them they will not get to miss class time to give her a tour. Twenty-four hands go down. The students pack their book bags and head out the door as thirteen teachers stand in the hall shouting, “WALK!”
3:30 pm – My day is done. Well, except for grading; and record keeping; and getting books for the new student; and.... What am I saying? A teacher’s day is never done.
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