Breathing

Today, I started the fifth week of school.

I managed to survive the first four weeks, and I finally feel like I’m mostly caught up…for now. As any teacher can tell you, there is always work to do, even over the summer. It just happens from time to time that there may not be anything pressing that has to be done RIGHT NOW.

Those moments are fleeting. That’s when we breathe.

Before I go on, I want to be clear on one point. I love my job. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to function at the level I need to, teaching six sections of Advanced Placement courses to very intelligent high school students every day. Even, with the other occupational options out there, nothing would be as fulfilling to me at this point in my life as teaching. That may change at some point, but right now, I’m good.

The past four weeks have included the following activities…not necessarily in any particular order.

  • Meet with my team for AP US History (at least weekly) to plan the year and each unit
  • Meet with myself for AP Macroeconomics (constantly)
  • Create a calendar for my courses
  • Update Canvas for each of my six classes
    • This includes posting study guides, presentations, quizzes, assignments, etc.
  • Create daily lessons, handouts, presentations, etc.
  • Submit my handouts to be copied at least 2 days in advance
  • Create assessments (quizzes and tests)
  • Enter the test answer keys into the computer and print the answer sheets
  • Evaluate the assessments to see where students struggled
  • Adjust lesson plans to address student weaknesses
  • Help individual students who did not do well on the tests
  • Grade papers
  • Update grades in online gradebook
  • Respond to parent emails about student grades

There’s more, but I’m sure you get the point. All of this was done with one 47 minute conference period and as much other time as I could find during the day. (I’ll have 2 off periods next semester because AP Macro is a semester course. I’ll have more breathing room in January.)

I also started the school year without my students having textbooks. Texas went through a textbook adoption last year for social studies, but our AP books were ordered a little too late. The AP US History books came in the second week of school. The AP Macro books came in a week ago. That made things interesting for a while.

It seems like I forgot something important from my list. Oh yeah, my favorite part…I met my new students and taught my classes. That’s the whole reason I’m here. The students make the whole process worth it, even when they’re driving me crazy.