A Day in the life of a teacher on her day back from Spring Break

12:55 AM – Reluctantly go to bed after admitting that I can’t put off school by staying up late.

Have weird dreams throughout the night that I’m administering the CAASPP test. See IS and KA and feel happy to see them.

6:25 AM – Stumble out of bed and put on the same outfit as I wore to church the day before.  Blearily ask roommate to make extra coffee.

6:50 AM – Leave for school.

7:02 AM – Grumble inwardly that the side entrance isn’t open.. drive around the school to get to the other entrance.

7:04 AM – grab the crickets to feed the class pet, papers to return, and coffee and stumble into school.  See kids, but don’t say hi.

7:05 AM – Feed the cricket!

7:07 AM – Organize books for lit circles. Realize belatedly that there aren’t enough copies of two of the books after scouring the library and the closets.

7:20 AM – shoot out a desperate email asking if anyone has copies of Slam or Gathering Blue

7:25 AM – Realize belatedly that it’s standardized testing today and all the posters are still up.  Scramble to start covering up any posters with words and pull down student work.

7:25 AM – give up. Begin fiddling with the iPad to see if I can administer the test through the iPad.  Can’t.

7:35 AM – look at the testing schedule and realize your prep comes AFTER you see your first class.  Scramble to start printing out materials and prepping.  It’s also not a good time to realize that during spring break you spent so much time LT planning that you actually have nothing concrete for the first day.

8:10 AM – print out a Japan geography lesson, lit circle deliverables.. and realize your toner is low and the office still hasn’t ordered any extra.

8:12 AM – make copies.  Munch on a vegan blueberry muffin from Acme … all the good pastries got taken first and now there’s only bran and gluten-free options left

8:25 AM – Wait at the door. Enthusiastically greet kids.  I feel strangely ready since I DREAMT that I taught already!

8:30 AM – get into hectic-ity ASAP.  “Teaching” is a blur.  Happiness to see them turns stressful fast.  Immediately regretting not having planned this day better.

9:15 AM – Made a girl cry because she just got back from what I assumed was a long vacation but in actuality was an emergency death in the family.  She thought I was being mean, when really, I just felt extremely harried.  Am told all this by the kindly science teacher… who tactfully asks, “Did you have a rough break?”  I didn’t… so I feel worse that there’s no excuse for my grumpy combativeness to her suggestions of fixing things with the sad student soon.

9:25 AM – Try to figure out the rest of the plans for the extended class that I’m getting.  Getting ready because essentially, I’ll be with them from 10:15-3:30. Yeesh.  Do some other stuff – I don’t really remember what.

10:10 AM – It’s showtime!  Principal comes in to help administer.  Kids come in.  We start getting ready and the internet goes bonkers with 50 kids trying to access the secure testing site.

10:20 AM –  I realize I don’t know how to find the session code.

10:25 AM – Thankfully, I figure it out before the principal has to show me.

10:35 AM – all kids are “approved” and testing.  Unlike my testing experiences where I just tested and the teacher sat and graded, I take walks around the classroom, nonverbally reassuring kids with a touch on the shoulder or smiling when I catch a kid’s eye.

11:05 AM – I see a piece of wire from a mauled pen on AM’s desk. I pick it up to throw it away and start fiddling with it.  “It made me bleed,” AM warns.  I just shrug and right then, prick my finger pretty hard.  He muffles a laugh.  I put my finger in my thumb.  I throw away the wire.  I hope he has no diseases that can be transmitted through blood.  I suck on my thumb to suck out the poison.  I walk around the room with my thumb in my mouth. I feel stupid.

11:35 AM – testing fatigue / complacency is kicking in.  Some kids are on question 6 out of 44.  Principal warns students that they will have stay in through lunch to finish since we have another test tomorrow.  “Shaking your head’s not going to make it better.”  Students buckle down.  Begin eating my sweet potato because it looks like I won’t be getting a lunch break.

12:10 PM – Suddenly, half the kids who were super lagging are done already.  I know that they’ve thrown the test.  My heart sinks a bit but I also feel annoyed that these tests are so long.  Yet I also know that the kids in Palo Alto will probably joke about it and feel like testing week is super relaxing.

12:15 PM – Excuse some students to lunch.  Have others go down to get lunch and come upstairs.  Impressed by the perseverance of some.  Depressed by the cluelessness of others.  Kids are antsy now especially as the principal is not here. Also created a new seating chart because these kids kept asking for one.

1:00 PM – Study hall starts and most kids are done.  They don’t have much to do…  I do my best to hold down the fort.

1:30 PM – Send 4 kids down to the office to finish the test.  Begin teaching.  We cover SO much it’s crazy.  I don’t even know how we covered this much… I think it’s because everything was so crappy in the morning that I was able to revamp.  That’s one thing I like about myself – the ability to fix and improvise on the fly.  Changed seats, went over the spring break project, went over Lit circles, began Japanese geography… and a bada bing bang!


3:45 PM – talked with the interim Dean about a student.  (Oh yeah, sent a gal out because she was all grumpy about the seating and then refused to do work and kept saying snarky things about me and smirking. oh 8th grade).

4:00 PM – Went to school-wide planning meeting.  Discussed huge things.  The main theme = we have no money! We’re cutting this! BUUT we’re juggling so that we can keep THIS.  Alas.  public schools.  #Amiright?

5:15 PM – Finish with appreciations and reflections (love this time teehee).

5:20 PM – Go back to my room to clean up and bring some work home.

5:33 PM – Leave school.

5:50 PM – Get home.  Go lie on my bed to start checking emails that people have been referring to all day.

6:15 PM – Notice that it’s 6:15.  Contemplate working out (because feeling tired) or taking a short nap.

Opt for the nap.

8ish PM – Roommate asks if I need to wake up or if I’m going to sleep. I just mumble I’m going to sleep.  She turns off the lights.

1:40 AM – wake up.. get INTO my bed to finish sleeping.

2:22 AM – Wake up – wide awake.  Answer some emails.  Turn on a sermon.  Fall back asleep about 20 minutes into it.  Plan to wake up at 5AM in order to get some work done.

6:50 AM – wake up.  Total fail.  Clip my hair and put on a hairband. It’s going to be one of those days.  And back to school.

I guess you guys got some bonus hours.  But that day was CRAZY.

This WEEK was crazy:

Random thoughts/quotes.

Dreaming about teaching the Japan pre-assessment Tuesday night so that on Wednesday, cranking out the pre-assessment was easy.  (The power of dreams)

Tuesday, I misplaced my keys. Panicked. Had NT and J-Say come help me find them. They found them. They also found my selfie-stick.


– During the talks/requirements of the 8th grade boat dance…

“No, you may not bring anyone outside of ASCEND to the boat dance?”

“What if it’s a chaperone?” – spoken by the one kid.. who I could totally see… it being realistic.  I just about died when he asked this (mainly to himself, but I was in hearing range).

Girls kept remarking on my hair.  “Let me fix that bun.”

Had Storm come help me after school on Wednesday with a few things.  We just kept giggling/laughing together.  Then some girls came in mad because apparently she called someone a B***.  It started to get heated (but stupid) and I mediated really quick.. and it ended really quick.  I told them to cut the drama.  -_-

– Walked out of my classroom blaring, “ALL I DO IS WIN” … because I felt like a winner.


– Woke up Thursday morning thinking, “Oh shoot, I have to teach Japan today and I have nothing prepared!”

 Girls asked me, “Ms. Kim? Why’s your forehead so shiny?”  I wasn’t sure if this was a compliment or an insult. :-/

Kids were teasing me about my age..

Kid: “Ms. Kim, how did it feel when they invented fire?”

Kid: “Ms. Kim, what was it like in the Middle Ages?”

Me: “Yeah yeah, I used to ride dinosaurs to school..”

Kid: “What was it like when 9/11 happened.”

Me: “Dude, I was alive then!”

… it’s really nice seeing kids getting INTO their books.  Lit circles are SO COOL.  I just need to remind myself to scaffold scaffold scaffold so that I can release release release!


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