Part One: A Day in the Life of an Elementary School Teacher

Greetings from San Francisco International Airport.


First off, I am one of the luckiest teachers on the planet. My school provides me with everything that I could need to do a good job. Alas, after reading some impressive postings about teachers around the world, I decided to share my day’s schedule for all to see.

5:55 AM iPhone Alarm goes off.

5:58 AM get out of bed, stretch,shower, shave, brush teeth.

6:21 AM Kiss wife, meet Taxi Ken

6:23 AM Think of family back in the states, check Facebook, Twitter accounts. Wish I was home for Thanksgiving.

6:38 AM Say goodbye to Ken, arrive at school. Greet security in Cantonese.

6:41 AM Log on to SKYPE . Try to connect with my sister.

6:46 AM Start setting up for Thanksgiving/International Day celebration.

6:57 AM Read and reply to first email of the day.

7:01 AM Prepare my Keynote presentations for the day.

7:05 AM Greet incoming colleague. Laugh about the Petraeus affair

7:20 AM Get my first cup of coffee, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana for breakfast. Grateful to my wife.

7:31 AM First kid shows up. He speaks to me about a documentary he saw last night  about the history of tea. I look surprised by his info. Tell him about my trip to Sri Lanka.

7:34 AM Another kid tells me that his mom translates my blog posts and sends them to her teacher friends in Taiwan. I am very pleased already with my first two experiences with my students.

7:40 AM Start storing food for Thanksgiving Feast.

7:45 AM Begin to miss home big time

7:47 AM Shake hands, make eye contact and greet each kid with a “Top of the Mornin’

7:52 AM Chitchat ends, kids read silently with their log books, notepads and independent reading books.

8:00 AM Daily Devotion begins.  Recite poem of the Week “When Children Eat by Margaret Yoder

8:08 AM We begin first reading group session with A Hundred Dresses. I am highly complimentary to the four students and their ability to share their thoughts on the story. I compliment them on their work with literal understanding. I give them tips on how to think deeply when conversing. I am grateful for all my work with Accountable Talk.

8:40 AM I wish each kid to have a good recess and to enjoy each other’s company.  Remind them that we are on this earth to be good to each other.

8:45 AM Check students’ word study sorts and note exemplary work.

8:50 AM I drink my second cup of coffee.

8:52 AM I converse with fellow teacher about the ukulele.

8:56 AM Begin to input data into math progress spreadsheet.

9:10 AM I get wrapped up into a conversation comparing Hong Kong and American mathematics teaching.

9:24 AM Tested “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” DVD.

9:37 I fine-tune Math Keynote for Open Response problem solving assessment.

9:40 Students arrive from Chinese Studies class. I instruct them to take their seats to begin Math assessment. Students begin and are highly engaged.

9:57 Compliment my teaching partner’s unit reflection lesson.

10:30 I meet with kids to discuss Thanksgiving and Writing Celebration decorum.

10:38 Begin walking the students to Physical Education class. Notice that my wife texted me to call her immediately. I instantly begin to panic and worry about my folks back home.

10:40 AM High five 60 students as they are obviously excited about their strength test.

10:42 Back in my classroom, call my wife and discover that all is well. She just wanted to chit-chat and see what I wanted for dinner. I laugh and breathe.

Final cleanup before Thanksgiving. Lay out tablecloths on desks. Pass out plates, plastic knives, forks and spoons, Class looks great.

11:30 AM Begin readers’ workshop minilesson.

That is enough for now. More to follow on the other side.

I am off to Osaka, Japan.





One thought on “Part One: A Day in the Life of an Elementary School Teacher

  1. My day in the life of summer (Christmas in Oz):
    Get up whenever.
    Go for a run.
    Check email.
    Write blog post.
    Watch movie with kids.
    Pool time.
    Check Facebook and Twitter.
    Eat whenever.
    Sleep whenever.

    I like my day better :).

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