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One day in life of a teacher: welcome to fifth grade.

Updated on February 3, 2012


Turn off the alarm clock 5 minutes before it rings, take a shower, set the coffee pot, wake up the teenager, feed Ella, the Rottweiler, start a crock pot dinner, and get in the car with my dog.

Go back inside, because I forgot my coffee. Fill up my coffee mug, return to the car. Scold Ella for getting into the front seat while I was inside. Move her back to the back seat.

Drop her off at doggy daycare.


Before reaching the classroom, receive a page over the intercom about a parent calling.

Run into the first available classroom to pick up the phone. Someone is sick and will be out. Write myself a note to send the make-up work to the main office before the end of the school day. Mom will pick up.

Get to my classroom. Log in to check the e-mails. It’s the day of big project presentation and the bunny is dead. Send condolences regarding the bunny, and promise not to bring it up. Respond to a question from a parent about a science project due date, print out an agenda for an afterschool faculty meeting, wipe the tears because my coffee mug was forgotten in the car, and the coffee is in it.

Greet the children by the door.

Pass out morning work.

Give a band-aid for an invisible scratch, complement new shoes, throw a mini party over a late research paper finally making it through the door, send the notes to the main office with a student, threaten the end of the world if the homework does not make it from the homework board into the agendas, point out approaching test on fractions, recite The Pledge of Allegiance, send the lunch count to the cafeteria.

Another band-aid for an invisible scratch.


Pass out the spelling test. Remind everyone to put their names on the test. Read the spelling words. Remind everyone to check their work. Remind everyone to place their name on the test. Collect the tests. Figure out who the two nameless tests belong to.

Assign reading groups.

Snack and Planning Period

Snack time.

Remind student with diabetes to measure her blood sugar.

Celebrate a birthday with chocolate cupcakes, and call the nurse for an alternative birthday snack for the kid with diabetes.

Line up to go to Foreign Language. Remind everyone to bring their Foreign Language folders. Walk like an Egyptian with the students all the way up to Foreign Language classroom. Allow two students to go back to get their forgotten folders.

While the kids are at Foreign Language, quickly meet with other 5th grade teachers to discuss an upcoming field trip.

Run 27 copies of a packet on decimals for tomorrow's math class. Realize that the copier smudged the third page of every single packet. Attempt to run 27 copies of the smudged page. Take care of the paper jam. Attempt to run 27 copies of the smudged page. Refill the paper tray, and run the remaining 7 copies.

Pick up the kids from Foreign Language. Walk like the penguins all the way to our classroom. Allow a kid with a bumped knee to go see the nurse and get a cold pack. Watch him walk down the hall with an exaggerated limp. Get back in the classroom and prepare for math.


Accept two pitiful explanation on why homework is not finished. Go over the homework with the rest of the class.

Break the class into teams, and play a review game to prepare for the math test. Greet the kid returning with an icepack from the nurse's office. Watch him walk to his desk with an exaggerated limp. Assign him to a team.

Finish playing the game.

Remind student with diabetes to measure her blood sugar. Call the nurse and provide an emergency juice box, because the blood sugar is too low. Wait for the nurse to show up.

Get the class lined up for recess. Remind everyone to wear their jackets. Insist that everyone wears their jackets. Argue with a student about putting on a jacket. Go out for recess duty.

Recess and Lunch

Ask a student with a broken arm to stop pretend-shooting at his classmates.

Provide a band-aid for a small cut.

Ask a student without a jacket not to climb a tree.

Watch the student with an icepack bandaged to his knee zoom across the playground.

Talk to a student about her parents getting divorced. Talk to a student about a new kitten. Talk to a student about a planned trip to Ireland. Talk to a student about a move to a different state at the end of the week - make a mental note to check in the office to find out if it is true.

Go inside for Lunch.

Watch a student with an icepack stumble into the cafeteria with an exaggerated limp. Figure out what a student with no money in the lunch account is going to have for lunch.
Check in on a student with diabetes - she's having lunch with the nurse.

Realize I have 7 minutes left to heat and eat my lunch. Inhale my lunch. Enjoy the remaining 4.5 minutes talking to other teachers.

Research Project Presentations

Ask a kid with a dead bunny if he would like to wait until tomorrow to present. He doesn't. He tells everyone his bunny is dead.

Listen to a story about a dead hampster.

Listen to a story about a dead parakeet.

Listen to five stories about dead fish.

Change the subject when the topic switches to a dead uncle and a question about the afterlife comes up. Collectively, offer words of encouragement to the kid with a dead bunny, and move on to the next presenter.

Listen to presentations about peanut butter, China, Italian food, baseball, history of chocolate, and pomegranate.

Send a kid with a bloody nose to the nurse's office.


Set up an experiment on observation. Threaten expulsion in case someone decides to taste any of the provided materials, including, but not limited to, plaster of paris, glue sticks, flour, and baking soda.

Provide paper towels for a group that spilled a glassful of pink water.

Receive a report of an overflowing toilet from a student returning from a girl's bathroom. Call the custodian and leave a message.

Supervise the experiment. Redirect one of the groups back on task.

Send a student with a tooth that just fell out to the nurse. Beg and plead with all of the children to never. ever. EVER. leave any of their teeth on my desk, ever again.

Remind student with diabetes to measure her blood sugar.

Wrap up

Read aloud.

Receive another report of an overflowing toilet in the girl's bathroom. Call the main office, and ask them to locate the custodian.

Read aloud.

Ask everyone to pack up, and get ready to go home.


Walk with the students to their buses. Drop off requested make-up work in the office. Return to my classroom and check the e-mails. Place final book orders.

As I'm going to the faculty meeting - pick up an icepack off the floor.

Leave the meeting to pick up Ella. Come home to a crock pot cooked dinner. While listening to Michael Buble, correct a stack of packets on commas.

Have a family dinner, and feed the dog.

Read before bedtime. Set my alarm clock.


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    • LaThing profile image


      6 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Laughed all the way to the end! Love the way you write. I can relate with you on one thing ..... Coffee left in the car! :)


    • winbo profile image


      6 years ago

      well written.. Loved it

    • thirdmillenium profile image


      6 years ago from Here, There, Everywhere

      Ha ha ha, nice little heart-warming sincere account. Thanks

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      haha..loved it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much for your kind words! In case it's not evident - love my job.

    • hush4444 profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      This was hilarious - I know parents don't realize all the time teachers spend being mommies (or daddies) at school. Have you ever wondered why they can't just make copy machines that clear their owns jams? I really enjoyed this wonderful hub.

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      6 years ago from Tampa Bay

      A nice laugh on a Friday night at the end of a week.. love this hub! You had me laughing all the way through because 'we' know what it's really like to teach. We've all had our rants with the copy machine. I think they are programmed to jam when we only have 5 minutes to get back to class. You sound like a wonderful teacher - and human being. Enjoy your weekend!


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