The Perfect School Day
Lighthouse Educator Development
April 17th, 2016
you know the strategic mission or vision of your campus and district? If you said no, you are like myself and countless other teachers. Not knowing my campus vision forced me to question the motives of administration and colleagues. Then the thunderbolt hit me — my students question my motives for the exact same reason. They did not have an understanding of my vision as a teacher because I had no vision of my own.
My Lighthouse Educator Development partner Wilkie often asks students two simple questions:
- When you woke up this morning did you plan to get in trouble?
- Did you have a vision for what your day was going to look like?
The second question is the most important! When is the last time you took five minutes before school to close your eyes and visualize what your day would look like? When is the last time you wrote out on a piece of paper what a perfect day at school would look like?
Here is what my perfect day looks like:
- 4:35 am: Wake up, drink a Spark, eat a meal bar, brush my teeth, head to the gym.
- 5:15 am: Great training session at Crossfit Pointbreak.
- 6:30 am: Shower and get dressed in jeans, a nice dress shirt, bow tie, and Reebok Nanos.
- 6:50 am: Breakfast of 3 scrambled eggs, 3 strips of bacon, and cheese in a tortilla.
- 7:10 am: Leave for work and put on an audiobook from Audible — currently I’m listening to Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.
- 7:30 am: I am a couple minutes from school so I crank up “Anything Goes” and “Round Here” by Florida Georgia Line.
- 7:40 am: Write the lesson objective on the board: WHY ARE SO MANY DISTINCT AMINAL SPECIES FOUND ON THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINENT? Students will create a presentation using the S.O.L.E. learning model. S.O.L.E. stands for STUDENT ORGANIZED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT in which 3–4 students work together with one piece of technology with 60 minutes to prep their presentations.
- 7:45 am: Read 30 minutes — currently I’m reading Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? by Seth Godin.
- 8:20 am: My students arrive, find their seats, stand respectfully for the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge (yes Texas has its own pledge!), then listen intently to the morning announcements.
- 8:30 am: We watch the newest episode of THANK GOD ITS MONDAY by Dr. Eric Thomas on YouTube.
- 8:45 am: My homeroom — I can get them to do just about anything if they can shoot hoops on a Dude Perfect Nerf basketball hoop. They can shoot a basket if they ask me a question that ‘stumps’ the teacher during their research. Kids are energetic and the students who normally shy away from the spotlight find their voice.
- 10:00 am: My second block has a large number of ACC/GT students so they dive into the activity. No need to provide an extrinsic reward, but I do need to monitor the volume and tone of conversation. They are opinionated, yet do not understand differing opinions are not character attacks.
- 10:45 am: Go to a department meeting that is equal parts curriculum planning and pep rally.
- 11:35 am: Eat my lunch of chicken, rice, and snap peas in my room while watching an episode of Lewis Howes’ “The School of Greatness” or “Inside Quest” with Tom Bilyeu.
- 12:05 pm: After lunch, students finish their research and present their findings with passion and enthusiasm.
- 12:50 pm: My third block just needs a spark to be completely off task. They love their social circles and wait for an opportunity to take over the class. It takes a delicate mix of ignoring the small negative behaviors and building up the positive influences. I let the small stuff go long enough and kids get back on task and the presentation are very entertaining.
- 2:15 pm: During my conference period, I respond to a few emails, roam the building a bit to stretch my legs, and read.
- 3:00 pm: In my enrichment class, we are creating news broadcasts to help students develop research and presentation skills. Today they are writing a story about something awesome at school.
- 3:50 pm: All my kids get on their bus.
- 4:45 pm: Back at Crossfit Pointbreak to coach and hang with friends.
- 7:45 pm: A quick dinner of ground turkey tacos followed by a shower.
- 9:00 pm: 20 minutes of mobility with ROMWOD.
- 9:20 pm: Brush my teeth.
- 9:25 pm: Ten minutes of meditation using box breathing.
- 9:35 pm: Write down three things I’m grateful for.
- 9:40 pm: Prayer.
- 9:45 pm: Sleep.
I believe the more detailed the vision the more likely it will come to pass. I teach 6th grade so there are very few perfect days, but without a vision there are no perfect days. We have all had amazing days, yet we cannot duplicate them. I challenge you to write out your perfect day. What if you had a vision for the ‘you could have emailed me this’ meeting or how to escape the teacher who wants you to listen to their pity party? How would your classroom environment change if you had a clear vision? Maybe your vision does not match your classroom right now, but everyday you cast a vision you can tell yourself, ‘I came to school with a plan for today to be amazing!’ The more days you create an amazing vision the sooner it becomes reality!
Comment below and share your vision!