cheesemonkey wonders

cheesemonkey wonders

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Day in the Life: cheesemonkeysf edition

5:59 am - Dog begins licking my toes and face insistently.

6:00 am - Shot out of a cannon. Or the alarm went off. Can't remember which.

6:01 am - Stand up to avoid falling back asleep.

6:02 am - Feed dog breakfast.

6:03 -6:13 - Shower while planning first two class periods.

6:14 am - Dog licks toes again.

6:15 am - Make coffee. Start drinking coffee. Assemble lunch. Check Twitter. Eat breakfast. Fend off further toe-licking. Read news.

6:40 am - Get dressed. 

6:45 am - Walk dog. 

7:00 am - Leave for school. Plan third and fourth class periods while driving. 
                Car dancing playlist: The Sign, Tweet Me Maybe, Theme to Sesame 
                Street, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Shuffle everything else.

7:30 am - Arrive at school. Remember great lesson idea to steal from @samjshah. 
                Set an iPhone alarm reminder to steal great idea from @samjshah later.

8:00 am - Students begin pounding on my classroom door. They know I am hiding inside, trying to get some work done. They do not care. They want to change the origami flower indicator on my technology podium from gold to blue. This is our indicator of which color day (blue or gold) it is. For some strange reason, being the first student into the classroom and changing the flower has become a coveted job of honor. 

8:10 am - Give up and let students in. Student W wins the honor of changing the flower. Student X settles for writing the day's date and "BLUE" on the whiteboard. Turn on the school's morning newscast and figure out whether PowerSchool will cooperate in taking attendance today.

8:15 am - Morning newscast. Take attendance. 8th graders provide witty commentary during newscast, much like Mystery Science Theater 3000. Remind someone to close the door so we don't infect the 6th graders with our attitude. I think the 6th graders fear me. Make a note to ask someone why.

8:20 am - PowerSchool attendance module works - hallelujah. Submit attendance. Answer random unrelated questions.

8:30 am - First class period begins. This is English. We are doing NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. Thank God. Students take out netbooks and proceed to write for the next 45+ minutes uninterrupted. I do some of my own NaNoWriMo writing, read and make comments on their novels via Google Docs/Google Drive, then grade papers and record papers like a champ. This is the last week of the term.

9:35 am - Recess. I eat yogurt at my desk in the dark-ish classroom while simultaneously planning a third-period activity and grading papers for third period. Make a note to nominate self for Cirque du Soleil.

9:50 am - Second period class begins. Another English section, more NaNoWriMo. More great reads and comments, more papers graded and recorded.

11:00 am - Passing period before third period classes. Dash out as students enter the room, reminding them to "Please don't burn the house down." :)  They are good kids. When I get back, they are noisily but busily comparing Interactive Notebooks (INBs) for today's double INB check.

11:06 am - Algebra 1. Start INB checks while students complete reassessments and solo assignments. All INBs are checked successfully. The lowest score on any INB in this round is 95%. Several 7th graders ask, "Aren't you proud of me?" I assure them I am very proud of them. Make a mental note to buy @mgolding at least one beer at Twitter Math Camp 2013.

12:00 pm - Lunch. Conversation with other grown-ups. Fabulous cookies in the faculty lounge. A few very good laughs. I would really like a four-hour nap, but I think I can make it through the rest of the afternoon.

12:35 pm - Algebra 1. Same as the previous routine but with more reassessments and solo assignments. Many INBs are checked. Most are successful. Some students need to find or fill in missing assignments/pages. We have a brief discussion about whether or not to start a new INB with the new term. We vote and decide to start a new INB on Monday even though the new term starts on Friday.

1:20 pm - Directed Studies period. There is some silliness, but everybody has assignments to finish before grades are due. I have papers to grade and record before grades are due. Somebody asks a question about a musical group I do not know. Somebody else answers this question. Silence resumes. At the end of class, several students tell me they plan to sign up for my directed studies class again next term. I find this puzzling.

2:05-ish - Prep period. I open e-mail and discover 40 new messages, of which about half are from parents or colleagues that need to be answered before I leave. Click and type, click and type. As we used to say when I worked in the software business, first we put the bugs IN, they we take the bugs OUT. I feel that way with e-mail. Delete a bunch of silly Reply All messages. Grade papers and record them, grade and record.

3:10 pm - The end of school bell rings. I stay at my desk and finish grading and recording as many papers as I can. More e-mails. A few phone calls. Go to the office and sign my overdue attendance summary from last week. Eat a banana.

4:00 pm - Leave campus. Drive home while listening to news and music. No set play list for the drive home. 

4:30 pm - Find street parking. Walk the dog. 

5:00 pm - Move boxes in the garage to create a path for something that's supposed to happen later this week (can't remember what; must consult notes).

5:15 pm - Take out trash. Make dinner out of things that are lying around in our kitchen (crusty baked mac and cheese). Put mac and cheese into the oven to bake. Answer more e-mails. Read Twitter and math teacher blogs. Consult notes from this morning about what to steal from @samjshah . Empty dishwasher and reload with dirty dishes. 

6:15 pm - Eat dinner while watching news. Catch up with beloved partner during muted commercial breaks.

6:30 pm - Beloved partner goes off to get ready to do his radio show. Dog assists me in putting dishes into dishwasher. When I sit back down at computer, dog flops behind my chair and passes out. Some snoring ensues.

7:30 pm - Remember the Day in the Life teacher challenge. Decide to write up this summary even though it is boring as all, well, whatever. 

8:00 pm - Press the "Publish" button. Sneak off to watch The Daily Show before heading to bed.


  1. Boring? Quite the opposite! You're both funny and impressive, I second the nomination for Cirque du Soleil

  2. "Somebody asks a question about a musical group I do not know." I am so out of touch with what's popular these days--is it even called pop music? It was interesting to read that you also teach English. In addition to math, that's my other hat too!

  3. What impresses me most is your ability to check and grade work while other things are going on. I cannot focus..."Squirrel!"...What was I saying?