Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Day in the Life: Jessica Love

Jessica Love's name is real. Which sucks for the rest of us since we can't steal it as a pen name.

Represented by Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency, Jessica shares A Day in the Life of a high school teacher in Orange County, CA.  Be warned - it's nonstop!

***
5:15 - Alarm goes off. Snooze.

6:00 - Finally get up from bed. Snuggle with the dog for a few seconds before going through my whirlwind morning getting ready process. I've been doing this no-heat curls thing that I sleep in so my hair is wavy in the morning without me having to do a thing to it. I slap on some makeup, snarf down some food, and rush out the door.
go to sleep like this...
unwrap, shake out like this!
6:35 - Stop by the 7-11 down the street for my coffee. I'm obsessed with my 7-11. The coffee is way better than Starbucks drip coffee, and it's only $0.50 for a refill of my travel mug. I'm here literally every day. There's a new guy working in the mornings now, and he doesn't know me. I miss Ravi. I haven't seen him in awhile.

6:40 - Drive to work. Blast Cold War Kids, sip coffee, mentally review the plans for the day.

7:00 - Pull into work parking lot. Linger in the car for a few minutes to avoid walking in to school with the teacher who creeps everyone out.

7:05 - Settle into classroom. Review plans for the day with my student teacher, who is basically doing all of my work while I continue to get paid for it, read work email, make copies for the day, talk with Brennan and Kyla, two of my favorite former students who often pop in my room to say hi before class starts.

7:30 - Zero period starts - honors 10th grade English. Student teacher is handling this class, so I make myself invisible in my chair while she runs the show. I fill out some of her observation paperwork, answer some personal email, grade a few things, and do some of the admin stuff required to keep a classroom running. I also take advantage of the fact that there is another adult in the room and run to the bathroom. Opportunities to go to the bathroom are few and far between for teachers.

8:30 - First period starts - honors 10th grade again, but a full block period, so it's a little different than what we just did in zero. We're starting off with book clubs...YAY! Even though student teacher is running the show, I still walk around to the student groups to talk to them about what their book clubs are reading. Lots of groups reading 13 Reasons Why this round. It's been a few years since I read that, so I should probably give it a re-read so I can better discuss it with them.

I let student teacher handle the middle stuff, but we are introducing a research project today, so I'm going to do that. It's great having a student teacher, but I really do miss the kids in this class, so I waste a little more time than I wanted to on chit-chatting with them and joking around. Oh well.

10:20 - Nutrition break. I head up to the front office to hang out with some of the other teachers...one of the few times in my day I actually get contact with adults. There's a long line for the one bathroom and the copy machines, but I made my copies earlier, so I'm good there. I try to get a good seat at the table of fun people vs the table of negative Debbie Downer teachers who like to complain. I try to avoid them as much as possible.

10:45 - Third period starts - 9th grade English. I like to give the student teacher complete autonomy with this class, so I make myself scarce. I say hi to the kids, then pack up my stuff and sneak off to the teacher's lounge. I settle in on the couch, eat my Chobani, turn on my Spotify, pop in my earbuds, and get some quick writing done on my WIP. I pound out 1k words in about 30 minutes, since my school laptop won't connect to the wireless signal and I'm not distracted by anything.

With that taken care of, I pop into the yearbook classroom to see if they need my help. The yearbook advisor asks me to help track down some team photos, so I head to the computer in the copy room where I send out emails to all of the coaches.

12:20 - Lunch. Back in my classroom, my student teacher updates me on the issues she has been having with the freshmen. We brainstorm solutions and I give her suggestions on things that have worked for me. We review what we are going to do in class the next day, then she packs up and leaves. I gchat with my work bff and eat my lunch - an apple, a handful of carrots, and tuna on a piece of wheat bread. Students drop in with questions and former students pop in to say hi. When the bell rings I swear only ten minutes have gone by, but, nope, it's been half an hour. Damn.

12:50 - Fifth period starts - 10th grade honors again. This is the one and only class of mine that student teacher doesn't handle. I sit on my stool and make random conversation with the kids because I miss them, then we do book clubs. Some groups in this class reading Shine by Lauren Myracle. Awesome! We move on to vocabulary, then I introduce their research project. Lots of laughing with this class...the after lunch classes always have the most personality because they are finally awake and fed.

desk actually looks semi-clean today
2:35 - Bell rings. Kids run out the door. I collapse on my chair. Skim through email, organize grading and other paperwork, try to get desk organized, but who am I kidding, I am a total hoarder, and my desk area looks like, well, it looks exactly how my brain feels most of the day. I give up eventually, promising to clean it up tomorrow, and I head home.

3:30 - Drive home. Blast Cold War Kids some more. Call mom (using my hands-free headset, of course) and catch up with her.

3:50 - Best part of the day! I walk through the door and my little dog is SO HAPPY to see me. He jumps around and licks me and makes happy noises. I hug him and cuddle him and we get in the car and go to the dog park.

4:00 - Dog park. Gunner stands around and watches the other dogs play, and I sit around and watch him sitting around. Catch up on blog reading on my phone's Google Reader app. Read a few chapters of Small Town Sinners on my Kindle app.
little Gunner at the dog park
4:45 - Take the dog home, make turkey chili for dinner, plop on the couch and comment on blogs and what-not until the husband comes home.

5:30 - Husband comes home. Eat dinner.

6:30 - Husband drags me to the gym. Today is legs. I grumble about working out, but I do all of my exercises. I'm stoked because I can tell I'm getting stronger...I'm increasing the weight on almost everything. But then I get on the scale and realize I've actually gone up a pound since last week. I fight the urge to throw the scale through the window as the husband reminds me that I'm building muscle and blah blah blah. I tune him out because he loses weight by just considering it in passing, so his opinion doesn't really hold a lot of weight. Stupid men.

7:45 - Stop by Fresh & Easy to see if there is anything delicious in the bargain bin. There isn't...but we get a few other things we needed.

8:00 - Protein shake, shower, settle onto the couch with the computer on my lap for the rest of the night. Respond to blog comments, comment on friends' blogs, respond to email, check in with friends on twitter, blah blah blah. I also try to write a little more. I manage about 200 words, but I'm so tired from the dang gym that I can't manage much more than that.

11:00 - I manage to not pass out on the couch tonight. Hooray! I crawl into bed and pass out, spooning the dog.

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