Day in the Life: October 8

This year I’m part of an MTBOS community sharing experiences of our year together to reflect and grow.

Today is October 8 – Saturday and the first day of fall break. Arizona does this awesome thing where there is a week off in the fall just like spring break. It is drastically needed to spend some time away and recover from a challenging first quarter.

7 am: Wake up without an alarm. One of my best friends is in town for a wedding. This was the first time we’ve had a chance to chat since he arrived Thursday night because of wedding duties and school for me. We talked about our lives and how his PhD program was kicking his butt – he’ll make it though.

9:30 Take my friend to the pre-wedding gathering because it was about 10 minutes from my apartment. Small world right?

11: Made it back to my apartment and started grading. Our first quarter ended yesterday so I was working to finish grades before my vacation to Florida. I worked until about 6 pm (with some breaks, watching football and being pissed on twitter about Donald Trump’s ridiculously misogynistic comments). Trump definitely derailed my plans to be finished work because I’m pretty pissed that someone who could say those things is still in the running for President. I finished all the grading, but still have comments to upload for students.

After 6 I ended the day by continuing to watch football and then continuing to read “For White Folks” – a book on what white folks can do to make their students more successful and feel more included in our classrooms. Dr. Emdin shares his perspective and is making me think critically about my classroom, my biases and how to improve my most challenging courses.

Teachers make a lot of decisions throughout the day.  Sometimes we make so many it feels overwhelming.  When you think about today, what is a decision/teacher move you made that you are proud of?  What is one you are worried wasn’t ideal?

No teacher moves – Saturday!

Every person’s life is full of highs and lows.  Share with us some of what that is like for a teacher.  What are you looking forward to?  What has been a challenge for you lately?

Looking forward to fall break. I’m hopping on a plane to go to Tampa to see my parents for the week.

I’m still struggling to find a balance between personal and professional lives but there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon 🙂

We are reminded constantly of how relational teaching is.  As teachers we work to build relationships with our coworkers and students.  Describe a relational moment you had with someone recently.

Personally, I love that one of my best friends is here in town. I haven’t seen him in years and he’s a pretty awesome dude.

Professionally, I had to have our dean have conversations with multiple students to the office for making a suicide pact in my class for all to hear (it turns out in jest, but not appropriate either way). While I told them I had to follow up with administration legally they were pretty bummed and upset that I couldn’t understand it was a joke. I continued to emphasize that mental health and suicide is personal – not a joke – and our class needs to be a safe space for everyone. I’m hoping that my honest and firm stance will allow them to understand it is unacceptable and allow them to have a greater empathy for others.

What have you been doing to work toward your goal?  How do you feel you are doing?

  1. Survive with four preps, and do a good job for our students.
    1. I’m surviving…that second part? I don’t think I’m doing a good job at all….
  2. Close lessons to summarize student thinking
    1. This hasn’t happened intentionally or consistently in weeks. Break should give me a chance to refocus
  3. Continue to increase student engagement and cognitive workload
    1. Nope. Hoping break gives me a chance to make progress. My fourth hour (the remedial class) gives me biggest concern because students are not engaged or making progress.

What else happened this month that you would like to share?

This conversation I wrote about earlier because it has slowly transformed my classroom based on survey’s we took before break.

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