September 19, 2013

Hurry, hurry, hurry!!

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Hurry, hurry, hurry.  I feel like I say these words on repeat all day long!  I am sitting here on my living room floor, all sweaty post-run, and all I can think about is how nice it is to sit down and take a breath.  I should really take a shower and I put a pot of water for pasta on the stove before I sat down, and I hope I can make it up again to actually put the noodles in.  No guarantees though.  My days feel like one big blur lately!
My socks don't match.  That's about where I'm at right now!!
 Does anyone else feel like all they do all day at school is rush, rush, rush?  We literally do not have a single minute of downtime in the day.  Not only do we teach from bell to bell, but we are CONSTANTLY transitioning this year.  I don't mean just between content areas, I mean kids are constantly transitioning from place to place nearly every 20 minutes.  That is only a TINY exaggeration.  Here's a sampling of how my day goes:

  • 8:35-8:45 Opening traditions and brief good morning with my kids.  Literally the only time of day when we are all together in the same room.  I try to squeeze in a tiny bit of community building, but really this just looks like a quick "Turn to your neighbor and say good morning!", answering questions about the schedule, and saying the pledge.  I inevitably forget to take attendance in the blur that is these 10 minutes.
  • 8:45-9:15 I rush the kids out of the room to math intervention groups.  Kids are dispersed between teachers and specialists across the grade level.  I work with a small group of 5 struggling math students, two of whom are in my class.
  • 9:15-10:15 My home room kids shuffle back and meet me outside the door.  I herd them to specials and run back upstairs so I'm not late for PLC.
  • 10:15-11:15 I pick the kids up from specials (usually running down the stairs again because my PLC has gone over) and herd them to math class like a police officer directing traffic.  I teach 4th grade math, so my third graders leave for a different teacher.  My accelerated 4th graders also leave for a different teacher.  Once again, I am not seeing many of my own students.  I frantically try to check math homework, cram in a shared math lesson, and meet with two guided math groups in the next hour.  I rush to pass out homework and check in with other kids in the last 30 seconds before lunch, while at the same time telling my kids to hurry, hurry, hurry and clean up their white boards and math maniplatives.
  • 11:15-12:00 Kids are at lunch.  I force myself to quickly check email and then get to the teacher's lounge.  It is literally the only moment I get to catch my breath in the day, and I refuse to give it up!
  • 12:00-12:30 I check in with my homeroom kids for 5 minutes before herding them off to their shared reading classes.  I teach 4th grade shared reading and send my third graders to another teacher.  We hurry to "dig deep" into the text.
    I feel like I spend the majority of my day at this table...
  • 12:30-1:00 I shuffle the kiddos out the door to their reading intervention groups.  My group consists of eight students, none of whom are in my home room.  I still have not worked with or hardly talked to any of my third grade students. (It's a miracle they know my name, to be honest!)
  • 1:00-1:55 The kids rush back into the room and we hurry, hurry, hurry to start guided reading groups.  I rush to cram in three groups with a "status of the class" in between each one.  I find myself saying to my group, "Why don't you have a pen out yet?  Where is your book?  We need to have started by now!"  I crane my neck to see the clock over my shoulder during the group to make sure I am on track for time.  This is the first time all day that I get to work with a single one of my third graders.  Oh, and many of my ELL kiddos are pulled during this time for guided reading with the ELL specialists.  
  • 1:55-2:05 Read aloud.  Breath of fresh air.  
  • 2:05-2:30 Writing workshop.  I fight a losing battle against the clock to squeeze in my mini-lesson, writing time, and sharing time.  This never works.  There's a reason they say writing workshop should be at least an hour block!!  
  • 2:30-2:50 I hurry the kids back to their desks to put their writing away and get their science or social studies books.  If I'm doing a science lab, I say a silent prayer that I can somehow get everything passed out, explained, set up, and the lab completed before we need to pack up.  It never works and labs get stretched out for two or three days.  Oh, and my ELL kids and Tier 3 kids receive resource time during this time.  I silently wave as some of them are picked up for groups.
  • 2:50-3:00 We hurry, hurry, hurry to write down homework, pack up, clean the floor.  I run around like a mad woman stamping planners.  I race against the clock to squeeze in our clip chart "Super Star Awards."  It is always a losing battle.  By this point, I have usually broken a sweat.
This day is bananas.  B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Seriously, does this many transitions make sense to anyone else???  I didn't think so.  Neither does the tiny amount I see some of my students!  I am thinking about how conferences are coming up in 3 weeks, and I barely know some of them!  Ahhh!  

Anyways, tell me--is your schedule as crazy as mine?  Do you feel like all you do all day is rush, rush, rush???


  1. UM, yes to all of this. Our day is just a quick and busy and a lot of moving around. I don't breathe until 3:45 when the last bus pulls away.

  2. Well, my life is different because I teach in a junior high, where my day is perfectly dissected into 43-minute chunks ("perfect" is used with sarcasm here). Still, within that 43 minutes, we do a grammar warm-up, writing mini lesson, and writer's workshop almost every day. It's a bit nuts. I do remember the chaos of which you speak from my 5th grade teaching days!!

  3. That's ridiculous! Some of my blocks are half an hour, and that's way too short. I like at least 45 minutes per block.

    Do the kids get as stressed out as the teachers?

  4. I don't think the general public has any idea of how busy teachers are all day and beyond. I don't have as many transitions as you but my day is longer and I have no time to do anything. I often carry my lunch around eating it as I get ready for the afternoon. Our math/reading blocks are 60 minutes. I love them. Do you only get 10 minutes for read aloud?

  5. *Sigh* I am so with you. And can we talk about how PLC's are great and all, but they take up so much valuable grading/contacting parents time? I teach high school, so I don't think there are AS many transitions, but it's still rough. And I am particularly struggling with athletes being let out for events during my classes and having to catch them up when they return. Am I the only person who gets stressed when kids are absent because I know it's going to be a ton of work to get them caught up?


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