Since my blog is titled, “A Day in the Life …” I thought I’d share one with you — that is, one full day in my life. Here is January 5th, 2007, in detail — which actually started on the previous blog entry:
6:50 a.m., arrive at school. Prep class for morning lessons. Check email. Start this log.
7:46 a.m. a CCSD maintenance duo just came through. They explained that they are here in response to an A/C work order. It was dated August. I assured them we don’t want air. They are next-door in Mrs. Whiner’s room working on the thermostat. I am worried.
7:55 a.m., the CCSD maintenance duo return to my room. “Ma’am, how has your classroom temperature been this week?”
I answer quickly and enthusiastically, “Perfect.”
The men look at each other. One of them nods. The other says, “Okay.” They go to my thermostat box and make adjustments. Finally they turn to leave. As they walk out the door one calls back over his shoulder, “You should be warmer soon.”
7:59 a.m.; I tell the AP about the above encounter. He admonishes me. “What is the matter with you? You should have lodged a complaint! That they would have ignored.”
He’s right, you know.
8:06 a.m., Jasmine is absent. It is her job to turn the TV on for student broadcast (wholly student run daily school news production, Pansy Petite is the producer). I said, “Someone turn the TV on.” Cindy grabbed the remote and pushed the power button. Nothing happened. She pushed the power button again. Again. Again. No TV. She asked for fresh batteries.
I told her I’d just changed those before Winter Break. She wailed, “But they don’t work. Now what do we do?”
Jose said, “Oh, gee, let’s try this.” He walked over to the TV and pushed the power button. The picture emerged.
Cindy said, “I’d never have thought of that.”
I told her I didn’t think I was going to be able to pass her to 6th grade.
8:21 a.m., broadcast ended. I said, “Could we turn the TV back off?” Jake reached out, grabbed the remote Cindy had left on his desk, pointed it at the TV, pushed the button — and the picture disappeared. Cindy burst out, “That’s just not fair!”
8:26 a.m., the PA system clicks on, music fills the room, that is our signal that it is time to transition to Reading class. I tell my students to hand in their math pop quiz. My students sit at tables. Handing in their papers simply means passing them to the end of their table and waiting for me to walk by and pick them up. This helps keep them neat and save confusion. As I picked up the last stack of papers I glanced down. There was no name on the top paper. Nothing unusual there. I recognized the handwriting. “Jon, you’ve forgotten to put your name on your paper again.” I hand it back to him as a chorus of dismayed, Oh’s!” filled the room. A half dozen kids rushed over and rifled through my tidy paper pile ….
8:30 a.m., Isaac enters reading class. “It is cold,” he says. “May I shut the door?” I tell him no, not everybody is here. Two minutes pass as kids straggle in. Isaac repeats, “I am cold. May I shut the door?” We are still missing six students or so. I say, no.
Moments later the last few students enter the room. I am sitting in my oral reading chair. The class is clustered on the floor at my feet. Isaac included. It is very cold in the room. I look at him and say, “Isaac, what’s the matter with you? Were you born in a barn? For pete’s sake, go close the door!”
The class laughs. Isaac gets up and stomps to the door, grumbling, “All right! All right! All right! Make up your mind already!” Door closed he turns back, irrepressible Isaac-grin upon his face. “Anyway, who’s Pete and why does he get to have the door closed?”
I answer, “Pete is my favorite student and he gets to have the door closed because I like him.”
More laughter. Isaac pretends to pout.
9:27 a.m. — no Internet access.
9:44 a.m., Isaac said he couldn’t find the answer to question three on his reading comprehension check sheet. I told him I was certain he would find the answer if he read page 33 of the text. He responds with disgust, “I have to read the story?”
Sam pipes up, “Do I have to read it, too?”
Uhmmm, yes. That would be why we call it reading class. I refrain from twapping both of them.
9:56 a.m., the hot glue gun, despite being plugged in for 20 minutes, won’t dispense the glue. I push on the glue stick, hard. Hot glue squirts out of the gun and splatters all over the computer screen. No glue will come out on the back of my poster. Note to self: Do not buy another 99 cent glue gun. Pft.
10:03 a.m., still no Internet connection.
10:15 a.m., math class, the students need tape measures. I remember that they are in the bottom bin of the three storage bins stacked behind the television stand. Joy.
10:19 a.m., students measuring various body parts with tape measures. After they are finished we will compare the shortest child in the class, Pansy Petite, with the tallest child in the class, Jon. Following that, I will tell them about old-fashioned measurements (handfuls, arm spans, paces) and ask them how accurate they would be from person to person. (Could Jon and Pansy follow the same recipe and get the same outcome? What if they were measuring material or pacing off a boundry?) Then I will start the Math unit on standard measurement.
10:26 a.m. STILL no Internet connection
10:31 a.m. Jake approaches me as I am working with the two Cindys. He says, “Can I go to the bathroom?”
I answer, “I don’t know. Do you know how?”
He responds, “Huh?”
One of the Cindys says, “May I please go to the bathroom?”
Jake responds, “Hey! I asked first!”
I don’t think he’ll be passing 5th grade, either.
10:44 a.m., Dave, Jose & Rico approach my desk, tape measure in hand. “Ms. A.” Dave says, “We measured the centimeters, but the millimeters are too small to count.”
I said, “You measured the centimeters?” They nodded. “Well then, why don’t you just multiply them by 10 to get the millimeters?”
“Oh yeah!” Dave says, “Just like in math class!”
I refrain from twapping him.
10:51 a.m. STILL no Internet. At 11:20 when I am relieved of duty for an hour (lunch and prep perios), I am going home! A body can’t be expected to survive in these primitive circumstances!
Btw, it is cold in my classroom.
11:22 a.m. Mrs. B. walked through my door to teach my students for 40 minutes and I shot off campus like a crossbow arrow — cognizant all the way home that a speeding ticket would keep me from the net.
11:32 a.m. home: I placed a phone call to a friend — two minutes later than our appointed time. It usually only takes me 7 minutes to get home, but since I was hurrying it took longer. Pft.
12:29 p.m., I return to my classroom in time to hear the PA reminder that all computers should have been shut done 5 minutes earlier for the server repairs. There are seven computers in my classroom. I can tell at a glance that all are on. I cross the room and pull the main power cord. Off. Well, six of them anyway. I was a bit more gentle with my beloved laptop.
If you enjoy this, I will post the remaining adventures of the day later this weekend.