Prompt: teaching. I figure I’ll do a “life in the day of” type of post.
The school looms ahead of me in the fog, the weather mirroring my mind as I shake the last vestiges of sleep from it. Anxiety kept me up late, later than I should ever be up, squeezing in a short few hours before the blaring of my alarm. I park and turn off my car, looking at the clock before stepping out. 7:20. A precious 10 minutes to get sorted before students show up. They have a quiz today; the room will be busy as soon as the doors unlock.
The classroom is the same but different, that weird period where I’ve been gone for two days and everything is remarkably the same. I always expect it to look different, a shifted pile of papers here, a misaligned desk there. The custodians are experts in not moving anything.
I leave a note on my door and head upstairs to make the copies I forgot to make on Friday. The secretary greets me; I can tell by her face that I look at least half as bad as I feel. It’s going to be a long day.
A student finds me mid-copying, bringing questions that I’m not awake enough for. I chug through answers as we walk back to the classroom. Students mill about in the hallways, each clamoring with a question, and for a moment I feel like a movie star, pushing through questions to get through the door. My red carpet is a tad less glamorous.
First block creeps up quickly, passing in a whirlwind. I catch my breath during prep second block, stretching and heading to the nearby grocery store to restock tissues and find something to eat. I try to eke out a healthy lunch at the store, cringing as the lady behind the counter slathers my sandwich in melted butter before putting it on the grill. So much for a low-fat panini.
Back at school, I spend the rest of the block making slides for my AP class. It’s a painstaking process that I get about halfway through before the lunch bell rings and the usual crowd shuffles in. There’s a group of students that eat in my classroom. It’s quieter than the cafeteria and has wifi for their cellphone games. I don’t mind; they’re good kids.
Third block goes by, followed by fourth. Same lessons, same quiz, same questions. One of my student assistants sells me chocolate for the choir fundraiser. I figure it’ll make nice Christmas gifts.
to be continued…