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! 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!