5:00 a.m. – alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
5:05 a.m. – alarm goes off again. Hit snooze.
5:10 a.m. – alarm goes off. Curse alarm, but finally try to get up. Every night I get in bed and the covers are “normal”. When I wake up, I’m always stuck in this burrito of sheets. Apparently in my dreams I’m all “Chuck Norris” on somebody, but I think I’m just kicking my own butt all night long.
5:15 a.m. – stumble around the house trying to wake up and get to kitchen to nuke breakfast
5:30 a.m. – 25 push ups, 25 sit ups. Why? I have no idea.
5:45 a.m. – try to eat breakfast (2 eggs, protein shake). I’m not a breakfast person, so I’m usually cursing in my mind as I eat. I’m sure the fact that I’ve been swearing since I got up is no shocker to anyone who knows me.
5:55 a.m. – pull son out of bed by feet, hair, ears, whatever – then fix the little monster some breakfast, hahaha. It usually takes him a few seconds to wake up, but then he is just the coolest thing ever. I swear, I couldn’t have gotten a kid more perfectly made for me if he were custom designed. He sleepily tells me he loves me about 4 times (not remembering the times before). Every time he hugs me, it’s a bit of a shock – I now have to stand on my tip toes to rest my chin on the top of his head. *sigh* They grow up way too fast.
6:00 – 7:00 a.m. – plug in the MP3 player in the bathroom and get ready for work, attempting to look professional… and like a girl (hahaha). Playlist for this time has to wake me up. Beastie Boys and Linkin Park are a must. Eminem and Pitbull make it in there sometimes. Sick Puppies has a few tunes that usually make the daily run. Fuel and Faith No More (throwback) will sometimes make the cut. But I have to have Stone Temple Pilots and Foo Fighters. Since petite pants aren’t truly petite, I have to arrange the wardrobe around some major heels so my pants don’t drag the ground (boots, now that it’s cold). But don’t worry – I buy shoes based on comfort, not fashion. I can wear these all day or sneakers all day and not know the difference. I usually spend at least 5 minutes trying to calm the savage beast that is now my “Fraggle Rock” hair. These kids are killing me at school – turning me into an old lady – so now there are half a dozen grey hairs peeking out of the brown. Here comes my inner Chuck Norris again – the grey hair must die.
7:05 a.m. – hang out with the kid and talk about today’s expectations. We’ve had some bad years at school, but now we have one of the best teachers in the whole district. I walk him to the garage and watch him get on the bus. I always say a little prayer that he has a good day – he’s been bullied a bit this year. Breaks my damn heart.
7:10 a.m. – packing up all my school crap from the night before. Tests, Mac, books, papers, etc. Basically everything that went to bed with me and didn’t get caught in the blanket vortex of doom is shoved in a backpack. I don’t do the briefcase thing. And, of course, there’s the gym bag to remind me I’m gonna get my butt kicked at 5:15 p.m. It’s good but it’s bad. Head out the door.
7:25 a.m. – plug in the MP3 player, back out of the garage (I try to beat our neighbor every morning – he’s a friend of ours, but he drives like an old lady).
CAR DANCE TIME!!! I mean, um, commute to work. I am a very aggressive driver. I don’t have time for B.S. on the road. Having said that, I can be aggressive and get my groove on at the same time. This is probably one of my favorite times of the day because I don’t have to think. I can just DRIVE. I usually mix up the boyfran’s new stuff (“Sweeter” and “Radiation”) with some Def Leppard (“Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Photograph”), and The Killers (“Somebody Told Me”). A lot of the early morning jam gets thrown in there. If it’s a ballgame day (volleyball, football, soccer, basketball, baseball, whatever), I’ll usually throw in the “Wop” or “Wobble”.
7:40 a.m. – pull into the faculty parking lot and wait for the same lady to try and park her big freakin’ van every day. She’s had that van since I’ve worked here (over 5 years) and she still can’t figure out how to maneuver into a parking spot without backing up/pulling in about half a dozen times. I mumble a curse word (or three) when I realize that ONCE AGAIN she cannot park between the lines. Why is this such a challenge? I find a parking spot and try to chill as my song comes to and end.
7:45 a.m. – get to my door to find about 3 students who need me to tutor Algebra 2 or stats. I usually get a few Google texts the night before asking for morning help. I appreciate kids who care enough to take ownership.
8:10 a.m. – Homeroom. Take attendance, check for dress code, write up violators, talk about upcoming activities this week. One kid is habitually absent – I’m starting to worry. Another kid has some major racial issues over the election and is just trying to start a fight – I’m going to have to write him up again. I do not understand this mentality at all.
8:20 a.m. – First block (Algebra 2). Review polynomial functions – finding zeros, factoring, graphing, etc. Kids are amazing in this class, but kinda sleepy. When they get that way, we stop and whiteboard something. Perks them right up. As usual, the class shifts from me being in charge to them doing the work. This class doesn’t mind working problems on the Promethean board in front of the class. They have such a good classroom rapport and are completely supportive so that they ALL succeed on my tests. I’m not about to take credit for that, though – I just have an amazing crew of kids that look out for each other. I really hope they stay this way for the duration of high school. Wrap up with questions and spend the last few minutes watching a Kid’s Snippets video.
10:05 a.m. – hall duty standing outside my door. So insane. Six minutes of: “Tuck in your shirt.” “You’re stopping traffic in my hallways, ladies – let’s move it.” “Stop running, junior.” “Hey – don’t grab her like that! Be a gentleman!” “You guys, please stop making out by my door.” “HEY!! DON’T STEP ON ME!! GEEEEEZZZZZZZ!!!” Sprinkle in several hugs and high-fives from students I’m no longer teaching and only get to see between classes.
10:12 a.m. – Second block (Stats). This class is usually truly amazing or truly heartbreaking. Today it was the former. (thankfully). We started Chi-Squared Goodness of Fit tests. Everyone knows that I love stats, but I cannot begin to explain how truly fascinating I find hypothesis tests (of any kind). I guess that enthusiasm shows when I teach it, because my kids get really into it. We’ve done HT’s on means and proportions, but THIS is where they really get some major “buy in” to the course itself. They see the usefulness of statistics and where all the “weird” bits and pieces of everything begin to fit together. Even got a “this is cool!” remark here and there. Some of my kids have started talking about being statisticians and I get chills. This isn’t my AP class, either and I’m thrilled. We talk about some real-life applications and they do a few FBI-related examples before the bell rings.
11:45 a.m. – hall duty again. Once that’s over, time to make a decision. I have another duty coming up in a few minutes – should I work on the quizzes coming up this week? Or take papers to grade? Hurry up and decide because I’m about to have to haul butt out the door. Run into the athletic director on the way to my duty post – double check that my seat in the press box for baseball season is still reserved if I want it.
11:52 a.m. – different hall duty – in a student desk outside of the boys’ bathroom close to the cafeteria. This is just as exciting as it sounds. Any male students who need to use the restroom during lunch must get my “permission” – I can only allow two males in at a time and I must check the restroom after each pair leaves. Why? Because administration isn’t sure which male students are spitting tobacco all over the walls, toilets, floor, mirrors, etc. Probably the only time of the day I wonder, “I got a masters’ degree in mathematics for THIS???” I decided to work on quizzes because I can type faster than I can grade and was able to knock one of the quizzes out in that short amount of time. I can finish the other quiz tonight. Got an e-mail from the girls’ basketball coach that one of the games next week was cancelled and replaced with another home game, so I fixed the schedule on the school website for them. I think the basketball team gets the short end of the stick of all the sports in our school, and I absolutely love the game. I really want the coaches to focus on my kids to give them a better season than last year (long story – it’ll make me mad, so I’m not gonna go into it), so I don’t mind helping out where I can. I e-mail him back to remind him that we’re having round 2 of “locker room remodel” after school Tuesday and to get me a list of the girls who are staying.
12:20 p.m. – eat lunch with my friend Gunns. She teaches English, is wicked smart, has a great sense of humor and for some reason tolerates my presence. We talk about the craziness of my trip to TN the previous weekend – I had several stories to tell her. This is my only “down time” during the day where my brain doesn’t have to go 90-to-nothing.
12:45 p.m. – dive into grading the tests I left my students on Thurs/Fri while I went to TN. Concentration is difficult, my mind wanders a lot and I hate sitting still. I take a walk to grab a Coke Zero (my first in about a month) and I have to crank up the music again. But I got one full set graded and half of another. I have to get as much graded at school as possible because if I don’t, my next opportunity won’t be until after 9:00 p.m. Grades for progress reports are due at noon tomorrow. That just adds to the stress.
1:30 p.m. – get a call from “Roger”, a history teacher down the hall. His mom passed away this morning and he wanted to know if I could watch his class for about 30 minutes while he copied stuff for the sub for the rest of the week. OF COURSE I’m going to drop everything and help him out – I’m honored he asked me. I absolutely love and respect this guy so much. His wife was an English teacher at our school and, although she’s relatively young, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She’s gotten progressively worse lately, and I really don’t know how Roger can keep it together sometimes and maintain his humor. I rush down the hall and he apologizes for taking away my planning time. I tell him to think nothing of it.
2:00 p.m. – Fourth block (Algebra 2). I lurve this crew. They frustrate the crap out of me sometimes, but they are the funniest group I have ever had in my life. Y’know the intros to your favorite TV shows that are the same every week? This class is kinda like that – basically starts the same way every day. “Dan” comes in my room saying, “Hedge… Hedge… Heeeedddddggggggeeee….” Me: “Yes, Dan?” Dan: “Hedge… how you doin’, girl?” Me: “I’m doing good, how you doin’ Dan?” Dan: “Ooooooooooweeeeee. I’ve had a CARAAAAZY day. You ain’t killed anybody yet, didja girl?” Me:”…. Not yet.” Dan: “Oooooowwweeeeeee. Hedge. You go, girl.” I don’t have a clue how we got to this routine, but I’m going to miss it next semester. Unlike 1st block, this group is NOT sleepy. We start polynomial review, but unlike 1st block, they actually argue over who will go to the board to work. It’s a race sometimes to see who can get to the board first and there are usually “excessive celebration” penalties when they go a little too far with their dancing. “Hedge, PUHLEEEEASE play ‘Big and Chunky’” Every day these kids want that song when they’re doing individual work. I know I’m probably making this class sound like a hot mess, and they are, but they work so hard for me and are not afraid of a challenge.
3:40 p.m.– school’s over. I walk to the cafeteria where the afterschool care resides for teachers’ kids. My kid is (no surprise) jumping from table to table like he’s Spiderman. We walk back to my classroom and he gives me a laundry list of homework he’s got to do and I get him situated in a space where he can’t get too distracted. Afternoon tutoring starts. I have a girl (“Kathryn”) from my 4th block crew who has no mathematical self esteem at all. The main problem is she’s been friends with a crew of the boys in that class since she was about 4 years old and she thinks they’re all smarter than her. And they give her crap (because she’s cute and they like her) about being dumb (because boys are stupid and consider that flirting) and this increases her complex about her mathematical ability. And, of course, I can tell she has a crush on one guy in particular who can be excessively mean (WHY do girls always all for THAT GUY?). She’s a smart kid who just has math anxiety during tests. So my “therapy” is to throw random problems at her as difficult as I can come up with and make her walk me through them outloud as a timer is counting down. Believe it or not, this has worked wonders over the last few weeks. Increasing her stress in these tutoring sessions makes her able to handle stress during actual tests a lot easier. This doesn’t work for every kid, but it works for her. I only tutor her for about 30 minutes because too much of this can freak her out.
4:30 p.m. – change clothes for athletic training (AT) but then try to get a little more grading done before I leave at 5:00. I always get knots in my stomach prior to AT. It’s different every time and sometimes it’s pretty brutal, so being able to grade is great and takes my mind off of it.
5:15 p.m. – AT starts late – one of the members of our group is getting yelled at for her food journal. Never seen the trainer get that pissed before – he’s usually such a nice guy, but he hates excuses/complaining. Kinda scary. Hoping that doesn’t make him take it out on us later. Gunns is in AT with me, which is awesome to have someone hold you accountable during the day. Warm Up Part 1: Run 400 meters → 50 jumping jacks → 20 squats → 20 lunges/leg → 20 pushups (down and hold until we’re allowed to release) → 10 burpees → 2 min planks. Warm Up Part 2 (activity for 5 car lengths, then jog 5 car lengths, turn around and repeat): high knees → butt kicks → punters’ kicks → karaoke runs → run 400 meters. Challenge –30 minute limit: Run 1/3 mile. 10 pushups w/ 12 lb weight pulls per arm, 10 squat thrusts per arm w/ same weight. 9 pushups w/ 12 lb weight pulls, 9 squat thrusts per arm w/ same weight. Continue down to 1 pushup and 1 squat thrust per arm. Finish w/ 1/3 mile run. My time – finished 2nd at 17: 17 behind our strongest guy who beat me by 8 seconds. Next time he tries to pass me on the run, I’m gonna trip him. The girl who got chewed out was the last one to run the 1/3 mile – I felt bad watching her do it by herself, so I ran it with her. Two other women joined us. We’re a very supportive group.
6:45 p.m. – get home and jump right into cooking dinner and helping the kid with homework. I have to do both at the same time so I don’t get too frustrated with him. I know that sounds mean, but his language/spelling/writing ability is probably a grade level below where it should be. I do what I can, but I don’t know how to help him with this.
7:30 p.m. – eat dinner and talk about what happened at school today. He’s just as interested about what my students did/said than I am about what he did at school. He always wants to know if he has to teach any of them a lesson. “I’m gonna come up there and stand on a chair and tell them they do NOT mess with my momma.” Which is funny because I rarely have issues with my students, but he’s very protective. I love it.
7:50 p.m. – spelling homework… the bane of my parental duties. This will last at least an hour.
9:00 p.m. – put the kid to bed. Start grading papers again.
10:30 p.m. – I’m sick of grading – my AD.D. is kicking in. Put the papers away and start working on the quiz I didn’t finish today. Whoops – I just remembered I’m giving a test Thursday. Frack. I need to start working on it today – the rest of the week is nuts.
11:30 p.m. – Crap, I need to finish grading. Grades are due at noon and there’s no way I can grade during class. Frack frack frack. Ok – time to focus and try to finish.
12:20 a.m. – I cannot keep my eyes open any longer, but I’m not finished… I don’t even put the papers on the floor. I put them next to me, set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. so I can get some extra grading in, and turn off the light.
…… and now I’m wide awake again……