Mom Kristin Caliendo finds out firsthand what makes up a teacher’s day
Mom Kristin Caliendo finds out firsthand what makes up a teacher’s day.
With an eye towards Teacher Appreciation Day, Tues., May 3, I recently spent the day with Mrs. Sipp, a fifth-grade teacher at Christ Lutheran School in Phoenix to learn more about what typically occurs. She was kind enough to share with me what her life is like in and out of the classroom. Turns out, there’s more to being an A+ teacher than just a stellar lesson plan!
6 a.m. Alarm goes off. I’m not really a morning person so I hit the snooze button a few times.
7:15 a.m. Breakfast is my favorite meal, but mornings are kind of a rush. If someone would make me breakfast that would be wonderful, but I usually grab something quick like fruit and an English muffin.
7:40 a.m. Arrive on campus. It’s surprising how quiet it is before school starts.
7:45 a.m. Every morning, all the teachers and faculty gather as a community for devotions and announcements. Taking time at the start of my day to be still, breathe and pray makes all the difference between a good day and a GREAT day!
8 a.m. The first bell rings and I have 15 minutes to prepare for the first part of the day. The second bell sounds at 8:15 when school starts.
8:20 a.m. Students are full of energy in the morning! Because we do so much teaching in the morning, I come up with cool ways to keep the kids engaged. A typical morning could be devotions, followed by P.E., religion, language arts, and then reading just before recess and lunch. Our daily schedule rotates, which keeps things fresh.
11:20 a.m. Lunchtime. This is my first break since getting to school before 8 a.m. After making a stop in the restroom, I take a few minutes to clear my head and eat my lunch before preparing for the second half of the day. Some days students ask if they can “hang out” and have lunch with me. (Mrs. Sipp is the kind of teacher we all wanted as a kid!)
12 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The second half of the day is underway and I have logged 7,000 steps on my Fitbit.
3 p.m. to 3:30 P.M. School’s out. The next 30 minutes I’m focused on getting students picked up, on the bus, or to their extra curricular activities. I use the restroom and then head back to my classroom where I spend my own time doing jobs other than teaching.
3:30 p.m. Emails! Lots of emails! I try and respond to emails during the day, but it’s not always possible when I’m teaching. After school is the best time to respond to parent and faculty emails, send out reminders about events, etc. A bulk of my emails are responses to or following up on grades, assignments, and questions from parents.
Next, I grade papers. There’s always so much to grade! On-time work. Make-up work. Late work. I also prepare for the next day and one day a week I write my lesson plan for the following week––that takes about three hours.
6 p.m. Head home to walk Lola and Honey, our super sweet fur-babies. They have been in their kennels all day, so they have a ton of energy when I get home! (Sondra-insert photo of her doggies, if there’s space)
6:30 p.m. Off to the gym or if I’m starving, I’ll whip up something quick instead. Grilled cheese with tomato soup is on the menu tonight. When I’m feeling really fancy, I might make a pasta dish. I hit the gym three to four days a week, but sometimes I’m just too tired to work out!
9 p.m. Finally, I put my feet up to watch Netflix. Maybe zone-out on social media. “I used to bring work home, but not any more. If you don’t have a healthy balance, you’ll burn out.”
10 p.m. Pack my lunch, review lesson plan for the next day, and pack my bags.
11:30 p.m. Daniel, my husband, works nights as a financial advisor and is just getting home from work and the gym. I haven’t seen him all day! (Sipp got married last November, so she’s balancing being a teacher and a newlywed.) I am so tired, but we make time to talk a bit before I go to bed.
11:35 p.m. Lights out!
“There’s a lot of love. But love and discipline have to be equal parts. Kids do really well when they have structure and rules; they thrive when there are clear boundaries. As a teacher, you have to be fair. If you’re not being fair or playing favorites, they pick up on that real quick.”
Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day
Teachers count on coffee or tea for those especially long days.
Handmade/Personalized Teacher Gifts
Who wouldn’t swoon over these super cute zip pouches for everything from Band-Aids to safety pins.
Customized desserts from The Baked Equation are always a hit.
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