The experience of going to school is almost universal — everyone knows the drill: get up early, go to class, have lunch, go to more classes, go home. But have you ever wondered what that experience is like for a teacher?
Steven Foxworth — a dedicated educator with a Master of Education focused on Educational Leadership and Administration from Concordia University-Portland — went over what a day in the life of a teacher is to show you just how much work goes into teaching the next generation.
The day always has an early start, up in time to get ready, eat breakfast, make coffee and get to school before the kids do. Steven Foxworth states that most teachers spend a large percentage of their free time grading papers, planning lessons, and researching innovative ways to captivate students, so the late nights often require a healthy dose of caffeine in the morning.
Even at this very early hour, there are usually other teachers busying around the halls, copier and scanner with large cups of coffee in hand. No matter how much you prepare the night before, teachers always seem to be a rush when it comes to cleaning the classroom and ensuring that all of the materials for the day have been properly prepared: clean the board, wipe down the desks, connect the laptop, check emails, and write down the instructions for the day on the board. If you are lucky enough to have one, it is time to check in with your teaching partner, spending time going over the expectations for the day and ways to make the content even more engaging.
Slowly, the peace of the morning begins to disappear. Kids start rolling in to hand in assignments, get an early start to the day or just hangout with their friends. Steven Foxworth explains that this is when the day really begins.
It is important to begin the day’s classes by going over the assignments or content from the day before, as a bit of a “last week’s episode”. Depending on the length of the class, the greatest challenge of being a teacher is ensuring that your students are all engaged for the entirety of the class. Instead of teaching for the full hour, it is important to work in groups, do quiet work, and engage in activities to keep all styles of learning engaged throughout.
Scattered in between the classes are numerous requests to go to the washroom, intervening in small to large fights, asking students to put away their cellphones, and the list goes on. Teaching children is a blessing and an honour but is can also have its moments of struggle and frustration.
After this first block of classes, it is lunch break — a welcome bell for both student and teacher. While the only thing you want to do is watch an episode of Brooklyn 99 on Netflix with your head down, this time is often occupied grading papers and tests, or meeting with students or other teachers to address any concerns they might have. Steven Foxworth explains, the second half of classes is much like the first, except when the kids leave at that final bell, the teachers do not. A vast majority of the end of the day is spent preparing for the next day.
Teachers are the backbone of the education system and are responsible for shaping the young minds of the future, the effort that teachers put into their work is unparalleled. Steven Foxworth states that a teacher’s day never ends as all successful educators spend significant amounts of time preparing class material, and learning new teaching techniques to ensure they are able to reach all learning styles.