A day in the life of a MS Math teacher


A day in the life of a Middle School Math teacher.

6:15 Alarm goes off.  Get up, shower.  Thank goodness for short hair.

6:30 Husband gets up.  Say good morning.  Dry short hair.

6:40 Reheat mocha I got from Starbucks last night and was too tired to drink.  Pack lunch.

6:45 On the road.  Drink mocha on the freeway.

7:15 Arrive at work.  Make tea. Check email and twitter.

7:30 Students begin to arrive.  Supervise while they get ready for the day. Make sure I know where today’s handouts are hiding on my desk.

8:00 Take attendance.

8:05 Report to the church for chapel services.  Thursday is my favorite weekday!  Today’s topic is the importance of cultivating your prayer life, brought to us by a teacher who just returned to work after a semester’s medical leave battling cancer.

8:40 Leave chapel and return to the classroom.  Check to see that I received a response to yesterday’s tweet asking for an inquiry activity on the distributive property to use during my lesson that is being observed by the curriculum coordinator tomorrow.

8:45 Teach class 6B.  They are a day behind because of a field trip.  Discuss how to put positive and negative rational numbers in order.  Encourage them to make good use of time so they can do homework in class.  Remind them to study for tomorrow’s quiz.

9:30 Dismiss class.  Next class is coming in before I can get into the hall for the passing period.

9:35 Teach class 6A (we have a rotation schedule.) They are playing “Rational number war” with cards I made – positive and negative rational numbers.  The idea and template is from someone in the MTBoS who wrote the same game to play with rational and irrational numbers.  I can’t find the original citation to attribute it properly.  If you know, please share in the comments.

10:20 Dismiss class, go into the hall for the passing period.

10:25 Meet with advisory for snack time.

10:30 Snack time ends.  Go to the lounge for tea.  Say hello to a couple of subs who are in the building.  Meet with another 6th grade teacher to discuss the topic of today’s chapel talk and possible topics for future talks.  I’d like to give one, if I can find a topic where the differences between my beliefs and the beliefs of this church wouldn’t be too apparent.  We’re alike in some things and different in others, because we’re different denominations.

11:20 In the hall for the passing period.  Super fast trip to the ladies room.

11:25 Genius hour.  I supervise students loosely while they work on independent study projects.  This group is pretty focused and I can start this blog post.

12:10 Dismiss to lunch.  I need to eat fast and be outside by 12:30 for recess duty.

12:35 Student falls off monkey bars at recess.  Take him to the nurse.  Seems to be just scrapes and bruises.

12:45 Dismiss from recess.  Check in the nurse’s office.  Student has returned to class.

12:50 Planning period.  Continue work on blog post.  Write quiz for 6th grade to give tomorrow.  Run copies.

1:40 Teach 6C.  Rational number war again.  This time we had three wars during the class period!  The kids are enthusiastic and engaged.

2:30 Teach 7C mixed practice on one-step equations.  This is a sixth grade topic, but they were really rusty so we took a couple of days to review.  Prep them for tomorrow’s quiz.  Some kids struggle to see why 20*0.5 and 20/0.5 are different. They “know” that multiplication makes things bigger and division makes things smaller, so these questions thrown them off.

3:15 Dismissal duty.

3:30 Return to my classroom to work with a student who needs extra help.  He’s struggling to finish a project that was due in November, but doesn’t like to ask for help.  We just started meeting after school one day each week to support his learning.  While he is working on the project, I write a quiz for 7th graders to take tomorrow reviewing one-step equations and speak with another teacher in the hall about a student who is in distress.

4:30 Finish prepping for tomorrow.  Copy 7th grade quiz. Laminate and start to cut out a card sort for 7th graders to do after the quiz (received from my tweet.)  I can finish cutting on my planning period tomorrow, since I don’t see the 7th graders until 8th period.

5:15 Leave for home.

6:05 Arrive home.  Wow, my husband is working even later than I did today.  I can catch some quick time on the MMORPG while I wait for him.

6:25 Husband gets home from his teaching job.  I make dinner while he walks the dogs.

7:30 Eat dinner

8:00 Clear the dishes and read for a while

8:45 Go to sleep, so I’ll be ready for another day tomorrow!


6 thoughts on “A day in the life of a MS Math teacher

  1. Andrew Busch

    Thanks for the post Kathy. I’m intrigued by the “Genius Hour” concept at the middle school level. How is it going? We’re throwing the idea around at our middle school but I can’t think of how to make it work. Do you have any resources suggestions?


    1. kdhowe1 Post author

      There doesn’t seem to be a lot of structure here, and as a result some kids put in a lot of time and others don’t. They have to have their project proposal approved by the MS head, and then they work on it one period every other day for a trimester. At the end of the trimester, they present to the whole MS. Ideally they also put in some time outside of class, I think. It’s a new program – they did a pilot last year, and this year is the first time everyone is participating. My main suggestion would be to ask kids to keep a work log in a google doc, so it is easy to check in with them on their progress.


  2. mrsduncansmathmagicians

    Wow! When you put in the little time for breaks, lunch, restroom and all of the other daily activities it really does show how busy we are! I’m tired and feel like I’ve worked an extra day reading your post. haha. I too am intrigued by genius hour and hope you have future posts as it progresses. Thanks for sharing!



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