My Day In Detail
A Big Part of My Day
Lots of Details
To do this 30 in 30 challenge, I have found a list of suggestions to write about. Day one was to write 15 things about myself. Day two was to write about 10 likes and dislikes. Day three – today – is to write a detailed description of my day. So, I’m sorry if I bore you – but here goes – my day – in great detail.
My day starts when my alarm goes off at 6:30. Depending on what I have to do that particular day, sometimes I hit the snooze until about 7:00. If I have a meeting before work, I get up immediately. I shower and get dressed, then take the dog out for his morning walk. We almost always run into at least one other dog and owner on our walk, sometimes we walk together and sometimes we each go our separate ways. When Frank, the wonder dog, is done with his morning business we return to the house and he goes back to bed.
Then it’s time for me to get in the van and head to the convenience store on the corner. I buy my maple donut and my soda – and sometimes a lottery ticket. As I drive to school, I eat my donut and drink my soda. I usually listen to the radio, sometimes I talk on the phone to one of my kids. I know, I know, not the safest behaviors – but the school is really just around the corner.
Once I get to school, I get my computer booted up to see what the email gods have left for me and check my calendar. I make sure there are no unexpected meetings set up by the child study team. This has happened to me more times than I care to remember. If there is nothing going on, I look at my lesson plans and get things ready for the day. Since we required to write our objectives on the white board, I get that done. I reset all of the “mini-me’s” – little cardboard replicas the students made of themselves on the first day of school – on the behavior ladder. They always start in the middle – students can move up or down depending on their behavior. Getting all the way to the top earns a sticker on the sticker chart – going all the way down earns a phone call home.
After getting all of this done, I head down to the office to check my box. Usually there is nothing in the box, but occasionally there is some flyer informing me about some in-service downtown or at a local hotel. I sit and chat for awhile with the secretary and the clerk and any other teacher that is hanging out. We talk about the latest gossip and get caught up on all the news. Then I head back to my room.
About that time, the school bell rings and the children rush into the building, bubbling with excitement for a new school day. I stand in the hall at my assigned post and greet the students and their parents. This is one of my favorite times of the day. I try to at least say hello or good morning to each child that walks by. I get hugs, and tales of loose teeth, and what we did for dinner last night. Sometimes I have to remind students to slow down and that they must walk in the hallway, but mostly they all follow the expectations.
When the halls clear, I go back into the classroom and make sure everything is ready for my first group. I listen as the announcements are read by the student of the day and then the school pledge and the Pledge of Allegiance. Then I wait the few minutes it takes for the students to once again file into the hallway going to the groups they all belong to. Our kindergarten and first grade teachers have decided to group by ability level with each teacher teaching one level. We try to keep the groups limited to about ten to fifteen students, and we can do this with the help of our ESOL teacher, three paraprofessionals and members of our child study team. Each teacher will then split the group of 15 into groups of 5 and do centers. One group will work directly with the teacher, one group will work on independent work and one will work on a lesson on computers. Every twenty minutes the groups change, with each group having a chance to work in each center. That way the teacher gets to work with every student in his or her group for at least twenty minutes.
My group works on a reading curriculum specially designed for children with learning disabilities. We begin by reading a story from the previous day, then do some phonemic awareness and phonics review. We learn a new sound and at least one new sight word each day. We do a writing lesson where we review the new sound and word and practice decoding words. We write a sentence using “sight words” and “sound words.”
If the students do their best and stay on task, we have a few minutes at the end of the lesson to play a game, or these past weeks, write a part of our Christmas story. The students love this part of the day. Of course, they need lots of help with the spelling, but they are getting better and better each day. This year our story is about a sneezing snowman with some interesting issues. When the students have finished the story I may put it here on Hubpages.
When this group is done, I have my daily dose of plan time. Sometimes I actually get to plan – sometimes I get to plan new IEP’s or get ready for some meeting I have to attend or present for. Other times, I get to deal with behavior issues or check up on students who may need extra attention.
After that fun, I begin my second group –which is the same as the first group only with a different bunch of kids. This group is a little higher than the first and things usually get done a lot quicker. We almost always have time for a game. The games always involve whatever sight words we have learned. They all love the fishing game. We have metal fish with the sight words on them. The fishing pole has a magnet on it to pick up the words. If the student gets the word right, they get to keep it. If they get it wrong they get to throw it back.
I send the kids back to the class and get ready for lunch. I usually go out for lunch and grab McDonald’s. I sit in the parking and eat while I read the newspaper or check out Facebook on my cell phone. Sometimes I run errands during lunch – picking up anything I might need for the afternoon.
I get back to school just in time to go into a kindergarten classroom for class within a class. I work with one of my little guys and his friends. We work on whatever the teacher wants to work on, usually something to do with writing. The kindergarteners are learning their letters and how to write simple sentences. I sit with my little guy and help him any way that he needs.
As soon as I’m done with the kindergarten class, I scoot across the hall to work with the first graders. We do math at this point. I work with three kiddoes in this classroom. One with autism, one with a behavior disorder and one with a learning disability. All three need my help at exactly the same time…almost every second. And, of course, they all need different kinds of help. But it keeps me busy, and I love it.
After working with this group, I return to my room with six students to work on a specialized math program. It is designed to help students with dyslexia and dysgraphia and also helps those with other learning disabilities. There are a lot of hands on activities to help with math concepts. We have lots of fun while we learn math. An hour later, the kids return to their classrooms and I wait for the kindergarten students.
I work for another hour with the kindergartners. There are only two in this group, and with these two it is one too many! They are active to say the least. Both have ADHD, so we move around a lot! These two are still working on counting to five. We are also working on writing their numbers to five. Sometimes we walk through the halls to find numbers. I will sometimes put the numbers up on index cards and put them around. Other times, we just look for the numbers that are already there. We also have a fourth grader that comes in to have a quiet place to work, and he helps out with the “little kids” when he has had a good day.
Later, I go to a third grade classroom to see what I can do. They are finishing work on math and beginning to work on writing. There are two kids that need help writing – one has a physical disability and I have to scribe for him. The other just needs help staying on task. This is a fun class to be in, the teacher wants to make learning fun and there is always something fun and exciting going on.
By now, it’s the end of the school day. I have to go outside and supervise the kids getting on the bus. Again, I talk with the students as the go to the bus. I have to remind them to walk and to stay on the sidewalk. I also have to chase down those students who forgot that they were parent pick up and got on the bus instead.
As soon as the buses leave, I return to my room and clean things up, then head home. I often stop at the grocery store on the way home to get something to fix for supper. Occasionally I stop and get fast food instead. Depending on the day, I go home and cook supper or eat supper. My husband is home by then and we enjoy a quiet evening watching television and discussing our days. He heads to bed around ten, and I stay up to catch up on paperwork. As soon as I get all the paperwork done, I clean up the kitchen and whatever other messes need cleaned up and then I head to bed. If I’m lucky I fall asleep quickly. More often, I lay awake for hours trying to fall asleep.
Then it all starts over the next day!