Friday, 31 January 2014

A day in the life

This post was originally written last year in March. I'm not quite sure why I didn't publish it at the time. I think originally i had written far too many details about a students personal story and felt I better edit it.  Well I've only just found and reread it (six am saturday morning baby asleep on my legs) and it seems fine now so here you go. I'm not sure it conveys exactly what I was trying to get across but hope it gives some insight into the day of a teacher.  

I finished year nine parents evening last night at 8pm, went back to my classroom and tidied up the days mess so I could get straight to work this morning when I arrived at school.  I've got a big meeting/assessment on Friday and I had allocated myself an hour and a half before work today to give it some serious thought.

Packed up and out the door by 8:30pm and home after 9 making it an even 15 hour day. Nice.

I'm up at 5 as normal and in work by 6:30am. My plan was to work till 8am on Fridays assessment then in my free first period sort out resources and materials for my period three year 11 class (marking yesterdays work, photcopying, printing images of their work from my phone, making a set of powerpoint slides to emphasise a piece of work that they were working on). All of this work is done at a sprint pace in between answering emails and I find myself jogging across the playground back from the reprographics dept.

First lesson was at 9:30. Year 7's. Decent class but as always at this stage of the project really needy with their work. One girl arrives late. She has a note as there has been an incident. It turns out she's been cyber bullied. She's obviously upset so I have a decent chat with her about it and she seems a bit better afterwards.

In the lesson I'm circling around the room helping them with their sawing and filing and replacing Coping saw blades as fast as they can break them. Two students cut their fingers (hilariously minor cuts) but they want plasters. I stop the class and say that nobody is allowed to cut themselves anymore. It's now banned. This is a nice bunch of kids and they get the joke and laugh.

Break time is half an hour and in that time I have to tidy away the year seven stuff, finish sorting out my year 11 work and lay out their folders, print my lesson observation forms, answer the half dozen emails I've had in the last hour, check with my NQT (Newly Qualified teacher) who I will be observing period four to see she has all she needs, make a coffee and sort out cover for my period four lesson. I'm starving but no time to get to the canteen. I get back to my room with coffee as the pips go and my year 11's arrive like a scene from a George Romero film.

This lesson is a serious drain on my energy levels. I'm having to drag them all kicking and screaming towards the end of the course. I'm around the room constantly cajoling, pushing, helping, being Mr. Enthusiastic. I've talked about this lot previously in this blog and although their behaviour has improved, it's fair to say they are not well endowed with creativity. Trying to push creativity is hard work.

12:08pm and I finish period 3 with a tidy up and sort out of my room as a cover teacher is using the room to take my year seven class. It's not great leaving anything out that I don't want to lose during a cover lesson. I'm conducting a formal observation of my colleague five minutes ago so sprint upstairs with the forms. I watch a great lesson, taking extensive notes to be properly written up and discussed later.

1:08pm Lunch. In the 30 minutes we get for lunch I need to tidy up my room after the cover lesson, lay out the students work and get some extra wood for their project, answer my emails, make a coffee and get some wood for the after school DT club that happens on a Wednesday and have a brief meeting with another teacher about whether or not they should go for a head of department job. I run to the kitchen to microwave some lasagne brought from home while the kettle boils. I'm on top of things enough to manage to check my phone for messages while I eat my lasagne with a spoon.

Period five with another year seven class is a struggle. Sadly the lunchtime coffee hasn't made a dent. I'm getting tired. I get through it but not before losing my rag at the end of the class when the kids make a shocking attempt at clearing up and try to take the piss. Before the lesson is even over I have a student waiting for after school club at the door. Not even time to have a piss.

For the past few weeks I've been making a stage set for drama with this one really keen year 9 student. A fireplace on one side, a chest of drawers on the other and a moveable door frame. I've got quite into it and the student has become pretty good. It's looking excellent but it's been hard work and I can't just leave him to get on with it as I'm teaching him every step of the way.

I have 8 students in today and they all want things. So I'm helping them while also making this door frame. I feel like I'm going to die if I don't get a coffee but I can't really leave to make one.

I send the younger ones out at 4pm and a year 10 student of mine and the year nine lad stay till 4:50 when I send the year nine lad home as I need to check my emails and think about the next day.

The year 10 boy is in my classes and he is really talented in the subject. He arrived  from Afghanistan with no English but now can speak pretty well. He is genuinely one of the nicest people you could meet. I ended up chatting with him for half an hour about how he came to the UK.

It's quite an unbelievable tale and I felt myself close to tears speaking to him. I'm not going to go into it on here but essentially he arrived clinging under a truck after a four month journey.  He hasn't seen his mum or his brothers since. As he is leaving he says "Sir my face looks like a boy but inside I am an old man"

He leaves and I realise I had to have my car into the garage by 5:30 to have an MOT done tomorrow. I have my bike in the boot to cycle home. I pack up and sprint to my car and race to get there but in the normal five minute journey there is loads of traffic and by the time I get there it's shut.

I look at my phone and there are about a thousand messages.

I didn't get all that I needed to do today done and so I'll add that to my list for tomorrow.

Alarm set for 5am.


Vanniebee said...

Wow. Nuff respect Bob-la

Unknown said...

Wot she said. It gives me palpitations just reading this stuff. I don't know how the hell you do it. xxx

Unknown said...

Huh? I don't know why that said Unknown, given that I had to sign into a gmail account with my name on it in order to post it! Clare Sudbery here.