Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Day in the Life of.....

This week's MTBoS challenge was to write about a typical day in my professional life.  Pretty funny, since I am now 3 or 4 challenges behind and desperately trying to catch up! :)

Background info:  I teach 4.5 different math courses at a vocational high school.  Vocational schools have the challenge of having to teach to all the academic standards required by the state (as well as all the vocational standards required by the state), but in only 90 days, and in 6 day chunks.  We have 2 cycles:  A-cycle, in which we see our freshmen and our juniors for 6 days in a row (while the sophomores and seniors are in their shops), and B-cycle in which we work with our sophomores and seniors while the other 2 grades go to shop.  This means we can go up to 10 or more days before seeing the same group of kids again. To make it REALLY interesting, our students come from 8 different towns.

Oh, and btw, I am the Math Dept. Chairman.  To do this job, I am given one extra prep each of the 6 days of B-cycle.  

I am responsible for 8 other staff.  Because I am a teacher, I do not do evaluations, but I am responsible for transitioning the Dept. to the new MA Curriculum Frameworks (aka Common Core), working with my staff to create and update benchmark assessments, create the annual math budget, run monthly Dept meetings, go to Academic Dept Chair meetings, and lead my staff through any Math Dept and/or school wide initiatives.  Of course, it is my responsibility to contact book publishers and find new texts that "reflect the new standards" etc. Hahahahahaha.  And on days when there are not enough subs, the academic dept chair (who has the "extra prep") fills in.

So here is a pretty typical day:

My day starts when the alarm goes off at 5:01 a.m.  I do this so I can say I get up after 5.  But to be honest, that is a lie.  I set the clock 20 mins fast!  It is TOOOO depressing to see 4:40 on my digital clock.  This way, by the time I have made my way to the kitchen, I've gained about 15 mins!  Kitchen clock says quarter to 5 and is analog, not digital.  (There are some of you out there who understand that quarter to 5 is WAY less depressing than 4:45 a.m.  C'mon, 'fess up if you are one of these people!)  

Out of the house by 6, having fed cats, dog, and the wood stove.

Arrive at school by 6:25 a.m.  Hang up the agendas for the day, check emails, run off the last minute hwks I decided to change while I dried my hair.  Realize there won't be time to get everything done if I let the kids cut out the stuff for interactive NB, so I cut out 16 folding items for transformational geometry: reflections. 

7:20 - Senior comes in to retake quiz.  Works until the juniors come in at 7:40. 

7:50 - Asst Principal comes in to do the 1st Walk Through of the new Massachusetts Teacher Evaluation System. My juniors are modeling some trig problems on white boards. In his written comment, wants to know why the rest of my department isn't using these big white boards.
                                    AT-A-GLANCE WallMates Self-Adhesive Dry-Erase Open Planning Surface, White/Gray, 24" x 18"
I let him know it is because I purchased 7 of these with my own money.

7:50 - 11:15 - Have wonderful time with some of the best kids on the planet.  Hopefully they learned something today.  I know they made me laugh on more than one occasion!

11:20, I get my first break of the day (juniors, freshmen, then juniors) when the Hon. Alg 2 juniors head to lunch.  Check my email, eat part of a sandwich, run into the school (I teach in a portable classroom) to see a guidance counselor and get to the restroom before the kids come back 20 minutes later.

12:25 - finish teaching for the day.  Correct freshmen quizzes, get agendas set for the Monday.  Put together homework for freshmen:  they did NOT come to us with Algebra 1 skills (we are teaching our frosh Geometry this year for the first time), so we have to do a lot of "algebra review" (read: teach Alg 1 and Geom at the same time).

1:45 - Juniors back for study hall.  5 freshmen come in to retake order of operations quiz.

2:25 - School day is over.  Meet with a parent for 25 mins.  

3:00 - Pack up notebooks etc so I can do planning for next cycle during my weekend.  Make sure everything I need for Monday is in order.  Rearrange room for group work Monday morning.

3:30 - leave school.  Go grocery shopping.

4:30 - arrive home, put away groceries, head out to put on church supper.

9 pm - home.  Whew.