A week in the life of an educator

*Warning – this will be a long post and is not for the feint of heart.  But for those of you who are not teachers – read it at your own risk.  This is the true story about one week in the life of a teacher, just the teacher part…

**It got too long to be read by the non-teacher, so this week will be broken down by day and on Saturday, the entire thing will be up…please forgive any typos its done on the fly

***I teach PreAP Precalculus, Calculus, and coach women’s soccer. My contract school day is 7:15AM – 2:45PM (not including the coaching aspect). I am married to an awesome wife and we have three children ages 10, 7, and 5. AND I LOVE WHAT I DO!!

****If you make all the way to the bottom, please feel free to comment or ask any questions.  I would love for this to become dialogue for how hard we work in the classroom for the kids of our communities!

Up at 6:15 AM to get ready for a soccer scrimmage festival at Tulsa University. I am meeting one of the other coaches at 7:15 to get our suburbans for the drive. We are at school by 7:30 and rolling toward T-Town by 7:45. We have counted all of the heads for this trip (18 total) collected all of the gear (ball bag, water bottles, and med-kit). I passed off the “football” to Coach Bo. Our “football” has all of the medical release information, physicals, insurance forms, and contact numbers for each player. We arrive in Tulsa a little bit early and have a chance to get some coffee/snacks before our first match of the day.
9:45 AM starts our match pre-game routine. We discuss starters, strategy, things to focus on, goals for the team and answer any questions that come up.
10:45 AM we kick off our pre-season with a match against Bishop Kelly. Although we play really well we lose 1-2. The coaching staff felt like we did a pretty good job, girls were working hard, trying to do what we asked them to and gave great effort.
12:00 Noon was lunchtime, we have the best parents (so super blessed by them) a healthy lunch of fruit and turkey sandwiches with chocolate milk and gatorade. We scout one of our future opponents for a few minutes – at half-time we move to our second field for the next match.
1:45 PM we start our next pre-game routine. Not quite as long this time since we have already played one match. But emphasize to the girls to fight through the exhaustion from playing two matches in such a short time. To focus on working on fitness, to challenge for every ball.
2:15 PM We start our second match of the day against Jenks – man they have some great midfielders! Again we play really well, the girls have used all of their energy, but they continue to battle and work on everything that we have asked them to do. They have some great teamwork and chemistry. But we lose 0-1. Reflecting on the day we played really well and I am super excited about the season in front of us.
4:00 PM time to head back to Edmond!
5:30 PM back at school, put all of the gear back where it belongs, make sure that everything is locked up in the locker room and get ready to check in the suburbans. But before we can do that, one of the girls needs to have her car jumped. No problem – once again proving that we are jacks of all trades!
7:00 PM I have collected by children from the different places that had spent the day and am finally home…Ending my Saturday of work.

10:30-11:00 AM I missed the EdCampOKC yesterday and spent about thirty minutes going through the tweets of all of the sessions, I am really sad that I was out of town for this opportunity, but will hopefully have the chance to go to one in the future.
1:30 – 3:40 PM Kristina and I are leading some of the professional development sessions for our school on Monday. I spend this time making sure that all of the presentations look great and that we cover all of the bases. Topics include: the Flip Class model for Middle School teachers and several different #EdTech apps for our High School teachers.
6:00-7:30 PM I finish my grading from the past week…one of my least favorite things to do….
8:00-9:00 PM is the #oklaed Twitter Chat, I really look forward to this time with my colleagues from across the state. This is almost like free, fun, exciting PD. I get great ideas and learn great things!

5:00 AM I am already awake with ideas to try or create or talk about. I am in the building as close to 6:00 AM as possible. I get more work done when nobody else is in the building. I double check our presentations for errors and make some last minute edits. I want everything to be perfect so it takes a lot longer than I was ready for. So long I was late to our department meeting…
8:00 AM our school wide PD kicks off with a math department meeting.  I love the folks I work with.  Although we don’t all agree on every issue, we do agree on trying to do the best thing for the students! We found out that once again our SDE has released incorrect test blueprint information. If we are going to prepare our kids for the tests you make us give them – LET US KNOW WHAT WE NEED TO TEACH!!! It is also a good idea to have all of the programs the kids need to use on the test ready for us to practice on BEFORE we have to take the tests. Not ready for practice one month before the testing window opens…
9:00 AM Department meeting is over and Kristina and I record some lessons for PreAp Precalculus. We have to kind of quick because we are presenting how our Flipclass Model is used in our classes. We need to be done by 9:45 and just make it…
9:45-11:00 AM Confessions of a Classroom Flipper! Great session with 20-ish Middle School teachers! Lots of great back and forth dialogue about flipclass, what it is and how it works. Kristina and I had a ton of fun sharing!
11:00-12:00 Noon we have a working lunch to make sure our afternoon session is ready to roll.
12:00-1:00 PM All faculty meeting, topics include being aware of diabetes, and different symptoms to be aware of. Next was an update of cool new Media Center goodies. Next up was TLE our new evaluation instrument. But as with several other items coming from SDE, it changes all the time…PLEASE FIGURE OUT HOW YOU WILL EVALUATE ME, THEN DONT CHANGE IT!
1:00-2:30 PM Kristina and I lead our staff through three rotations touching briefly on educational technology. We enjoy sharing with our staff!
2:30-4:40 PM Soccer Practice! Then headed home.
8:20-9:20 PM Uploading videos to YouTube and creating the thumbnail, video descriptions, and tags.  I created a play list for these particular notes then share the link onto Twitter for anyone who searches for them.

6:25-7:35 AM I really wanted to record a couple of lessons for my Calculus classes, but spent this time writing a letter of recommendation for a student, changing my login credentials, and responding to emails. I am the school site technology specialist (tech spec) and this gives me a few additional responsibilities.
7:40-8:35 AM Welcome to 1st period – Calculus. Encouraging the kids to keep working on stuff: notes from 6.3 had been assigned over the weekend and I am checking 6.2 textbook work.
8:40-9:35 AM 2nd Period, rinse and repeat from first period.
9:35-9:55 AM tutorial – kids wrap up any homework and ask some questions.
10:00-10:55 AM 3rd Period same as the first.
10:55-11:10 AM I worked on a colleagues computer, she was having some issues with our shared drive. Heated up some lunch then headed to my room to record Precalc lessons.
11:10-12:30 PM Kristina and I recorded our lesson and I started the editing process.
12:35-1:30 PM 5th period (notice I did not get to sit and eat lunch, I consumed it walking down the hall from the microwave to my classroom) is PreAP Precalculus. Today is quiz day!
1:35-2:30 PM 6th period, rinse and repeat of the morning classes.
2:45-4:30 PM Soccer practice. We worked out some of the kinks from our weekend scrimmages and started working for our match on Thursday.
8:10-8:45 PM I left an example off of the lesson that Kristina and I made earlier, so I re-edited it, then re-uploaded it to YouTube.
9:00-10:00 PM Remember those quizzes from earlier today, time to grade…

6:10-7:40 AM I am in my room getting grades entered, eligibility is pulled today and grades need to be as accurate as possible. I finish getting percentages on some Calculus tests, work through the technology trouble tickets for my building, sort out emails. I wanted to record some Calculus lessons…
7:40-8:35 AM Calculus!! Integration by parts today anyone??
8:40-9:35 AM More calculus and more integration by parts.
9:35-10:05 AM Checked on a colleagues network login issue, upload and create a video playlist on YouTube and troubleshoot some web issues on my classroom PC.
10:05-10:55 AM 3rd period Calculus!
10:55-12:30 PM Helped a colleague get her projector working and delivered toner to several people. Edited my YouTube playlist, and graded quizzes.….Spent time composing an email to my Representative, Mr. Mike Turner. He has made some comments that frustrate me as a teacher…but I did sit for 15 mins and eat lunch!
12:35-1:30 PM PreAP Precalculus! Complex numbers in trig form. Yummy!
1:35-2:30 PM Last period of the day – Calculus!
2:35-2:50 PM Spent some time talking with a student about some challenging life events.
2:50-4:40 PM Soccer practice! Working on getting ready for tomorrow’s scrimmage.
5:30-6:00, 6:45-7:10 PM Edited my YouTube Channel to make sure the videos were correctly tagged and titled from the playlist I made earlier today. Done for the day!

6:00-6:30 AM Check email and change some of my info on the SDE website. They need my school email address so they can tie in my TLE evaluations.
6:30-7:10 AM Prep and record those darn calculus lessons that I have been trying to get to since Tuesday…
7:10-7:30 AM Dough Day Breakfast provide by our Family and Consumer Science, Business, and PE teachers – PANCAKES!!!!
7:40-8:35 AM 1st period. An interesting conversation occurred about the Oklaed Rally in March
8:40-9:35 AM 2nd period. Calculus – still integrating by parts. I got called out of my room to help a teacher who’s computer crashes this morning (remember the tech spec thing mentioned above?)
9:35-10:00 AM Delivered toner and met with our head coach about some items for today’s scrimmage.
10:05-10:55 AM Calculus!
11:00-11:30 AM A colleague needed some help with her email, SmartBoard, and DVD player, so we got all of that fixed up.
11:40-12:35 PM Worked on recording some lessons for calculus. But was not able to finish. I did some editing as I went so I can get them up as quick as possible tomorrow.
12:35-1:30 PM PreAP Precalculus time (notice lunch got missed again…)
1:35-2:30 PM Calculus time! Wrapping up integration by parts today! Quizzing in calculus tomorrow!
2:35-3:40 PM Got organized, grabbed a sack lunch/dinner and loaded up on the bus for our scrimmage in Moore.
3:40-5:15 PM JV scrimmage!! Finally we play someone other than ourselves! My girls work hard and despite a frigid north wind, come out on top 2-0. Next ups is the varsity scrimmage
5:30-7:00 PM Varsity girls get a chance to play. The wind is brutal, he coaches are cold, but the girls play really hard. We come out on top 1-0. Time to pack up and head back to school.
7:40 PM Gear put up, kids have rides and head out!
8:00 PM Home! Taking the rest of the night off!

3:30 AM Woke up early thinking about what I could do better for my kids….lots of ideas and no more sleep…
6:00-6:20 AM Printing a quiz for my calculus classes to take today. Went through email and set up to record more lessons. My partner in crime was not in today, so I made sure that her sub had everything that is needed for the day.
6:20-7:20 AM Finished recording and editing my notes for calculus and will upload them during 1st period.
7:40-8:35 AM 1st period Calculus. Quiz day! The kids work in groups in my class, so they take quizzes in groups. I will have them talk about the problems and work together. When each group is done, they staple all the quizzes together and turn them in. When I grade them, I grade one problem per quiz, per kid. So all of the students must talk about their work for the benefit of the group. They will all get the same grade.
8:40-9:35 AM While the kids are working on quizzes I organize tonight’s notes into a playlist and set it up on my YouTube homepage. Also getting the feeling this may be a really difficult quiz…
9:35-10:00 AM helped a colleague get the sound working in his room. Finalized YouTube channel.
10:05-10:55 AM More grumbling about the quiz…I didn’t think it was too bad…hmmmmmm…..
10:55-12:35 PM Worked the key and made sure the quiz was doable…it is! Started grading the quizzes from this morning, but didn’t get very far. One of my calc kids heard a rumor about the quiz and spent her lunch with me working integration problems. Our parent organization sponsored lunch today – THANK YOU!!!! But I am eating and grading and teaching during lunch today…
12:35-1:30 PM Test coming up on Tuesday, so we are working on the review today. It’s interesting to me that when students are given a review, some of them work really hard on it, and some don’t…
1:35-2:20 PM That darn calc quiz….Lots of grumbles today. We may have re-asses the situation over the weekend. I do know that integration by parts can be very difficult.
2:25-4:40 PM Soccer practice/weightlifting! #winning!

I’m not going to give you another hour by hour breakdown, but here is what I have to get completed by Monday:

  1. Grade the calculus quizzes (1.5 hours)
  2. Start recording notes for calculus 6.5 and the test review (4 hours)
  3. Create (with Kristina) the next Precalculus unit (3 hours)
  4. Hang out with my fellow #oklaed Tweeps (1ish hours)

I hope this series of posts have given you some insight to a typical week of a high school teacher.

If you made all the way to the bottom, please feel free to comment or ask any questions.  I would love for this to become dialogue for how hard we work in the classroom for the kids of our communities!

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