Friday, March 17, 2017

(Green) Day in the Life - 3.17 #sol17 Story Challenge

So make the best of this test, and don't ask why. "Time of Your Life," Green Day

Two birds, one stone is the blogging game here. I'm posting about a day in my life (this one!) as part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge and the latest #sunchatbloggers group topic, which means I'm not writing short.

5:12am | In darkness, blurry voices from the clock-radio alarm.
5:33 | Clean, dressed (swap blue jeans for green ones), check in with #bfc530, tidy up loose email ends.
6:04 | Meal planning: cereal, decorated with sliced banana; yesterday's uneaten lunch=today's 2nd chance.
6:28 | Stroll through the dark to catch bus. Spend commute reading slices and a book.
7:10 | Amble into school. Chip away at review of student work. Prep for first period.
7:38 | Get news to be ready for spontaneous Spirit Week next week. Ponder how wardrobe requirements might necessitate accelerated laundry schedule.
7:40 | Students start stumbling in. Chairs start falling over.
7:55 | First period is on. Students read for 10 minutes.
8:05 | I book-talk Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Epic by Connor Kostick. We revisit claims made earlier this week about best pie in honor of Pi Day and related structures for persuasive writing. Students try their hands at writing the beginnings of literary analysis, using some of the same structures. Students also shoot bi-weekly feedback my way about their progress.
8:50 | Second period. Small group for literacy support. We read, too. We talk about what we're reading. I describe how disparate pieces in the novel I'm reading (Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay) have just clicked together during the morning bus ride, and I now feel ferocious momentum to finish the book. Students describe how the feeling I described fits -- or doesn't -- with what they're reading. They then complete formal reading practice on computers. I pretend I'm an audio book for one student who reads along silently, and then I check in with a few kids who read aloud to me, hearing how their fluency is progressing.
9:45 | Third period. Similar story as prior class, but bigger group. Lots of coming and going as students bounce between literacy and math support, the latter with a colleague in another room. Some students still manage to be productive; many don't. Two voice their increasing unhappiness with me.
10:40 | Fourth period. Mailbox check. Only occupant: one piece of green-foil-wrapped chocolate. I dash off an email to a guidance counselor who's out today, seeking help mediating with those two unhappy students from third period. Then, more chipping away at digital pile of student work needing feedback.
11:30 | Homeroom. Announcements: "Spirit Week is coming!" A student enlightens me that, " 'Funner' is actually a word in the dictionary." She and I confirm this with a dictionary on hand.
11:35 | Slow-rolling start to eighth-grade team meeting with six colleagues. Double-duty with lunch, triple if you count bathroom break.
12:25pm | Fifth period. My aim is to repeat first period, which mostly happens. Except for part way through class when a panicky student comes over brandishing his cell phone. "My dad's calling. I need to talk to him." I respond, "It's okay. He'll leave a message. If it's an emergency, he can call the school office, and they'll ring our room." Moments later the classroom phone rings for you-know-who. I'm still unclear if I made an accurate prediction or revealed a trade-secret that the student communicated via seeing-eye text magic.
1:20 | Sixth period. Smaller, lively group that chased my book talks with several of their own.
2:15 | Covered part of study hall for a colleague. Jockeying students, library passes, craft supplies including rulers and tape, and questions like "What's the lowest grade I can get and still pass?"
3:05 | Last bell. Students exit for the weekend.
3:10 | I check-in with talented-and-gifted coordinator and principal about unfinished business. (Rhetorical question: Isn't it all?)
3: 30 | I steal a little more time to review student work before the next bus home departs.
4:07 | Back on the bus. Respond to a few Slices to keep part of the Welcome Wagon rolling and then return to my own reading.
5:00 | Mind off school, instead on March Madness and whether I need a suit for a family wedding next weekend. Tangential learning about the ambiguities of 'cocktail attire.'
6:18 | Leftovers for dinner
6:50 | Respond to more Slices and get my own contribution going.
7:54 | Recognize that slicing and trying to watch basketball mean I'm doing neither very well.
8:48 | Off with TV. Reread blog, revise, publish. Then, off to bed to finish Sarah's Key and nod off by


  1. do you manage to blog on TWT with the kind of day you have. Are you an English teacher? That always seems double the work because of having to comment on student writing. It impresses me how much extra work is involved in teaching besides just teaching. It's a very complex, demanding job.

  2. No less tiring than my Thursday my friend. I love being an audio book for a student.

  3. This was awesome to read... you have me thinking about trying this out. I love reading about the classes you are teaching. It is all unfinished business! Did you finish Sarah's Key?

    1. Yes, mission accomplished on the reading front. In general, I liked it and was thankful for the colleague who recommended it. Once the parallel narrative got on one track, though, the story struck me as feeling increasingly forced.