As inspired by this fun initiative, a brief look into what I do during a typical school day. This is approximately how Tuesday went down.

School starts at 7:45, we're supposed to be on duty by 7:30. Depending on the task ahead of me, I show up anywhere between 7:00 and 7:25. I have atheltics first period with normal classes immediately after, so there is no break to gather supplies. Today we're doing posters, so I charge my student teacher with gathering the necessary items while I'm away. No copies to be made today, he would've run them as well. What the heck am I going to do when I'm back to flying solo?

First period is soccer. It's not a bad way to start the day. We're outside, the weather is agreeable most days. I'm not a morning person anyway, so this is my chance to wake up a bit before the real work begins. From time to time I have to go into angry coach mode, as I handle our freshmen. Those of you that teach freshmen will understand what absolute bundles of joy they can be, especially as we try to keep as many of them eligible as possible for the start of the season. I enjoy not having to teach freshmen at any point later in the day. We're at t-minus 2 weeks before the season starts and my free time takes a nose dive.

Next up is back to back Pre-Cal. Today we're doing an expansion activity on sin/cos waves. Instead of random amplitudes and periods in terms of pi, we're graphing things in terms of dB or V, with a frequency given in Hz. One of those topics where I trick them into learning science. Their task is to draw and describe two such signals that have slight differences. Depending on the problem they picked, the difference could be amplitude, period, a phase shift, or all three. A paragraph outline is on the board to guide the writing section. Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, NYSNC and others are all blared over my speakers as they do this. I have a write up about this particular extension coming at some point. Thanksgiving break is going to be an opportunity for a brain dump.

Ready, break! My one off period of the day. Today I attempt to track down a package that the post man delivered to the school on Saturday (uh, what?). Post office has no idea where it is, yay.

Here come the Algebra kids. The first group would spoil anybody. My other five classes all flirt with 30 kids, this first section is 21. My room feels ridiculously spacious. Today we cover a summary assignment they did over matrices, exponent rules, and growth/decay functions. I introduce the concept of things growing/decaying at known rates. This produces an interesting discussion about credit cards and how a $500 TV can eventually cost you $1500 in no time at all. Due to a shuffled curriculum, this lesson comes way earlier than usual, but I get to use my favorite routine of having a kid tell us the value of an expensive item they own and what kind of prom they could afford given x months until prom and a made up depreciation rate. Are we having steak on the menu or picking off the dollar menu?

Lunch! All told I think I spend like 10 minutes eating.

Second batch of Algebra kids. This group is much larger and has a much greater achievement gap between the highest and lowest student. This group is always at least half a day behind the other. This class was given 20 minutes to finish the assignment and we just barely introduced the idea of growth/decay with percentage rates. My student teacher facilitated this group, he was being observed for one of the final times this semester. We both ran around performing triage with as much trouble as this class seems to have.

And finally, a random Pre Cal group to end the day. They have the unfortunate position of having math at the end of the day. Main problem? This class is always disrupted by pep rallies and is 5 minutes shorter than the previous 6 periods. There were also a lot of them absent on Monday. So I spent about 5 minutes working an example on how to graph signals. Then we got to the poster. Surprisingly, every group managed to finish except one, and they really just needed to glue everything together. In an effort to make up for the 5 fewer minutes, they often get the quick and dirty version of whatever I have to present, and we have fewer deviating conversations for the sake of productivity.

After this? Random kids will walk in asking for help or to regain credit through after school hours. We just had report cards, so there's none today. I'm out the door at 4, one of the last times this will happen until some time in late March. Crash on the couch for an hour. Assess any major concerns at the homestead. Plan the next day for about an hour or so. Write this. Sleep. Wednesday brings my self-imposed off night.

Curious about more day to day happenings? I've been doing a Year in Photos.

AuthorJonathan Claydon