a day in the life of an English teacher

Discussion in 'High School' started by wunderwhy, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Oct 8, 2008

    Today was a typical day in my life as an English teacher. I thought I'd share for anyone considering this profession . . .

    I arrived at school a few minutes early to call a parent to inform her that her daughter had plagiarized her essay. The parent was supportive and said, "I hope she gets a zero!" before I even got to that part. That was a relief as you never know if the parent will claim not to know what plagiarism is.

    The first two (block) periods of the day were spent in Socratic Seminars. It was the first such seminar for many students, so there were a few kids who didn't speak. Four of the six groups did very well. One just couldn't get off the ground, and one was a Lord of the Flies type shouting match. It did give me insight into this one class to see that the girls don't just interrupt me as a sign of disrespect; they think it's ok to interrupt everyone. Hmmm . . .

    The one class that ended early gave some good feedback on how the seminar went and correctly identified two students who had made particularly insightful comments.

    By then, I'd been at school four hours without a break. Then lunch, then journalism class, where I spent the whole period conferencing with students about their stories. The only student I didn't conference with suffered a concussion over the weekend and honestly can't remember what his story was about! :confused:

    Throughout the day, one kid tried to get me to write him a pass for stopping by to drop off a book; the plagiarist stopped by to turn in her books because she dropped out of honors; at least five students asked me about their grades; one girl had to run out of the room presumably to throw up (never got to ask); and two students came by to make up a vocabulary test.

    Six hours into the work day was the first time I got to check my email.

    Then duty . . . I'm in the room where, for lack of a better description, the bad kids get sent when they get kicked out of class. So I tried to get some grading done but mostly had to explain to my detainees (all freshmen) that they weren't actually in trouble yet and just had to do their boring dictionary work quietly to keep it that way. I know how to cool them off (they're usually not in the best mood when they've just been kicked out of class), but if I want them to do the assignment and not sleep, I have to put up with jimmy legs and brilliant comments such as, "When is winter?" and "He farted!"

    I really do love my job, but it's hard. When my husband emails me during the day, I think of all those people with desk jobs where they actually have down time throughout the day. Sure, I only work nine months a year, but while I am at work I work the entire time, every day. I hate it when people think teachers have it easy!
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Oct 8, 2008

    Not to mention the fact that it's a job you can't leave at work - when you're a teacher, you're a teacher 24/7! I start thinking about school when I'm in the shower at 5 a.m. and it's often the last thing I think of before I drop off to sleep. Then there's the grading, planning, tweaking of lessons, and for me, grad school, which requires a lot of reading...I often equate teaching with being on stage for five hours straight (my prep is after lunch) with less than a ten-minute break during Nutrition.
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Oct 8, 2008

    I love my job, too. But, I know exactly what you mean.

    My alarm goes off at 5am and I usually fall asleep thinking about school AND dream about school. I get to school at 6:45 (I get a lot done before students arrive). But, essentially, from 7am until 3:15 pm my brain is engaged to its absolute max. Even when it looks like I am sitting at my desk I am monitoring students, planning, grading ... But, 99% of my teaching day I am up talking and moving. I sometimes feel like I am thinking for 100 people (particulary when my students are learning something new).
     
  5. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    Oct 8, 2008

    Been there and do that. Look up this on Youtube: Taylor Mali on what teachers make

    You'll feel better!
     
  6. crzymtngirl75

    crzymtngirl75 Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Thank you ELA 11 13. I needed that too.
     
  7. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Besides, the nice thing about teaching is that you get to start fresh every September in hopes of a better year. This is such a great perk, especially when you've had a bad year, but not so great when you have a year you don't want to end.

    Teaching is all or nothing and it's so easy to lose yourself in the effort to just keep up. I love teaching, but to be honest, I don't love my job this year. However, I'm happy I'm working and my goal is to do my best to make the most of it and survive, hoping next year is better.
     

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