What I did at school today

First hour:

  • On my way into the building, I stopped off at an IEP meeting to talk about the progress of one of my students with her and her parents. This took most of first hour. I had about five minutes to go to my office and get ready for my first class.
Second hour, beginning journalism:
  • Showed my students the revised calendar for the last few weeks of the semester and tried to pique their interest about the final project which we’ll start next week.
  • Looked over one last practice yearbook spread and guided the class through giving the creators feedback on their work.
  • Showed the class a couple of news videos produced by my newspaper staff last year and asked them to critique the videos.
  • Facilitated a conversation with them about what they would do differently.
(Rush from bottom level, far corner of school to top level other corner of school, during five minute passing period.)
Third hour:
  • Met my students in the writing lab so they could work on research paper rough drafts and do peer feedback with each other via google docs.
  • Checked in with every single student about the progress of their papers.
  • Had more extended conferences with several students.
  • Reviewed some college application essays due today with one student.
  • Circulated in the lab to encourage effective peer feedback–gave them feedback on their feedback as they worked.
Fourth hour:
  • Ate half of my lunch while I met with Mister S and one of our principals about what inspired us from a particular session at NCTE (what happened in Vegas must leave Vegas!) exciting conversation about possible school-wide reform toward focusing on what should matter most in our classrooms (it’s not test scores)
Fifth hour:
  • Met another class of seniors in the writing lab.
  • Looked over another 30 or so research papers to check in on their progress. That makes about 60 paper quick check-ins today.
  • Had more extended conferences with several students.
  • Again circulated as students worked on peer feedback to give them feedback on their feedback.
Sixth hour:
  • Attended IEP meeting number two for the day to discuss the progress of another student with him and his mom.
  • Ate the other half of my lunch while we waited for the student and his mom to arrive.
  • Left meeting to station myself in the library for my weekly Google Ninja duty (helping colleagues with the recent shift to the googleverse) No one showed up for google help, but I had a great conversation with two Spanish teachers and one of my language arts colleagues I rarely see.
Seventh hour, newspaper:
  • Wrote the review of “Gangnam Style” that the staff assigned to me. Rough copy was due today. The song will be stuck in my head for a while. Still wondering just exactly what I saw when watching the music video.
  • Tried to figure out why one of the newspaper staff cameras was refusing to take pictures. Turns out it needs to visit the repair shop.
  • Checked out a press pass to a student who will be covering a wrestling competition this weekend. Couldn’t check out a camera to him so he could also take pictures (see previous bullet).

Eighth hour, yearbook:

  • Went through Google slides with my feedback from the stack of proofs for deadline one–all the stuff I noticed that they might want to fix before submitting final pages to the publisher. This took longer than I anticipated because of conversations along the way with students who are really actually interested in things like getting the apostrophes right!
  • Surveyed staff to determine the best evening next week to stay late for them to work on pages for the upcoming deadline.
  • Checked out a yearbook staff camera to a student who needs it for the weekend.

After school:

  • Wrote a college letter of recommendation for a student. The letter was due today and this was the first moment I hard to work on it all week.
  • Uploaded said letter of recommendation to online system that manages these things for our school.
  • Graded a late position analysis assignment submitted by one of my seniors.
  • Read and responded to three late research paper rough drafts from students. Emailed them to the students.
  • Updated some software on my school computer. Sat at my desk with my jacket on and my bag over my shoulder waiting for the software update to complete. (Stared at the blue bar on the screen and realized how exhausted I was).
  • Thought about cleaning my desk. Decided not to.
  • Left the building at 4:45.

Whew. That was 8am to nearly 5pm at full speed. No breaks today with meeting-filled off-periods. Barely had time to pee.

 

All in all, not an atypical day at school.

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