A Day In the Life

A day in the life of an Elementary Art teacher. Part 1.

… because unless you’ve ever been one, you really don’t know what it’s like.

5:25am- Get out of bed. Shower (during which you will run out of hot water and curse one of your five housemates for getting up early and showering in the other bathroom during your designated shower time. Hate yourself for becoming a teacher, committing yourself to a lifetime of being broke, and forcing you to live with housemates). Start drying your hair (but quickly realize you don’t really have the time to). Stop drying hair. Dress. Undress. Get dressed again (because you forgot your second graders are painting today, and you need to wear your “grungy” teacher clothes). Gather up the work you brought home from school yesterday. Make coffee. Make your lunch.

6:35am- Head out the door. Go back in the house (because you just remembered you were working on next weeks plans in the living room last night and left your plan book on the couch). Grab your plan book. Head back out the door. Get in car. Get out of car. Go back in the house (you left behind your coffee. Not a good idea with the day you have ahead of you). Grab coffee. Head out the door again. Get in car (alone, because while there are numerous car pools in your area, none of them can accommodate your schedule).

6:40am- Leave your house. Drive to work (which will take you thirty-five minutes because you refuse to live in the same town that you teach in. There’s no way you ever want to run into one of your sixth grade students at the grocery store while you’re purchasing a jumbo box of tampons. And heaven forbid you run into a student’s uber-conservative mom on a Friday afternoon when you’re picking up a much needed case of beer).

7:15am- Arrive at work (yes, the drive is long, but it’s worth it if it allows you to buy your beer in peace). Say hello to the custodians and the cafeteria crew (’cause at this hour they’re the only ones in the building, and your classroom just happens to be conveniently located at the end of an otherwise empty hallway with the kitchen and the custodial closets). Grab your lunch to put in the refrigerator in the faculty lounge. Realize you left said lunch on the kitchen counter at home. Go to faculty lounge anyway to pick up mail. Return to classroom. Throw stack of mail onto the pile of two weeks worth of mail on your desk (promising yourself that today will be the day you will finally sort through it all).

7:25am- Take a look at your plan book to figure out what supplies you will need for the day. Notice that you had intended on beginning a new project with the third graders. Take a look at the third grade cubby and realize that over half of them aren’t done with the last project (which confuses you because you know you’ve been working on this project for five weeks now, but then you look back in your plan book and realize they missed a day of class because of a field trip and another day for a classroom party). Gather the supplies for the day on your “supply” table, separating them by class and arranging them in order of when they will be needed. Realize you forgot to cut paper for the second grade class. Cut paper (which involves removing all the supplies from the supply table first, because this is also the table that holds your paper cutter). Start setting supplies out again (but stop when a fourth grade teacher comes in to use your paper cutter to cut pieces of 9×12 construction paper in half for holiday cards. She knows there’s one in the faculty lounge, but yours is just so much nicer). Finish setting out supplies.

7:43am- Get called down to the office for bus duty (even though it’s not your day, but the music teacher is late, again, and they need someone to cover for her). Silently curse the music teacher and your principal (who assigned you bus duty in the first place, because it’s not like you have anything to do in the morning anyways).

8:00am- Return from bus duty. Notice that you have yet to take the chairs down off the tables. Take chairs down. Take a moment to (finally) drink your coffee (gagging when you realize it’s now stone-cold). Do some last minute checking to be sure you are ready for your first class (this includes washing off your whiteboard because the principal left his notes on it from the faculty meeting that was held in your classroom the day before). Take a deep breath (finally, you’re ready for the day to begin).


2 thoughts on “A day in the life of an Elementary Art teacher. Part 1.

  1. Krista,
    I have been on the sub list for no less than five school districts since October. Apparently so are the 350 other unemployed teachers in the area because I have subbed 0 days in any district.


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