Welcome to a Day in the Life of a Teacher!


Maybe you’ve never taught before and wondered to yourself what it was like. Maybe you’re considering making the switch to education as a new and exciting career. Or maybe you’re a teacher and you want to see if other teachers’ lives are as crazy and hectic as yours. If so, then this article is for you! Today we’ll be diving deep into the inner workings of a typical teacher day. Feel free to nod approvingly or recoil in horror as we progress. Shall we begin? Here we go…

1. The alarm clock rings and you rise well before the sun does.

Yup, teachers are early risers. Not because we want to be, but because we have to be. Most schools start their day well before most business offices do, which means teachers are up and shuffling around their house well before the crack of dawn. But hey, the good news is at least we don’t have to worry about rush hour traffic!

2. You pour yourself a cup of coffee large enough to drown a small army.

This magical, little ray of sunshine ain’t gonna shine all by itself! Teachers rely on caffeine like a car relies on gasoline. And if our coffee supply isn’t topped off, rest assured that teacher will be sputtering and lagging like an old desktop computer desperately trying to update to Windows 10.

3. You arrive at school before most of your students are awake.

Why do teachers have to get to school so early you ask? Well that’s easy, we have to make copies of all the work we’ll be doing that day, plus we have to update our boards to reflect today’s standards, objectives, assignments, and other information.  Then if there’s time (there’s never time, but isn’t it cute that we think there will be?) we can catch up on all the grading we fell asleep on top of the night before.

4. The bell rings and students enter your classroom.

The coffee has finally kicked in and you’re ready (mostly) for another exciting day of teaching. Kids meander into your room and quickly fall into two categories:

  1. Sleepy and barely awake following a 10-hour video game marathon the night before.
  2. Hyper and wide awake because their parents thought two doughnuts and an iced cappuccino was appropriate for a child.

5. Time for morning announcements

This takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes and is an opportunity for admin to disperse all of the information students need to know. Naturally, they give them this information when they’re either still too tired or too hyper to process it, so most of it goes unheard.

6. Now you’re ready to start teac……

Nevermind, it turns out there’s a surprise fire drill! “Quick, everybody stop what you’re doing and go outside.”

7. Now you’re ready to star…..

“Yes, Johnny you can use the restroom.”

8. Now you’re ready to start tea….

Sorry, admin forgot to remind students about something during morning announcements.

9. Now you’re ready to start teaching!

You dive into your well-crafted and perfectly planned lesson. Your handouts are ready to go, everything is going exactly as planned. Then you gaze around the room and realize the students are looking at you like you have 3 heads. Turns out this lesson isn’t going as well as you’d hoped.

10. You suddenly realize you have to use the bathroom.

Which is unfortunate because your next break isn’t for another 3 hours.

11. The students’ confusion turns to unrest.

Uh oh! This lesson isn’t working and now kids are getting out of their seats and starting side conversations. You’re losing control but that’s OK, you can fix this. And right as you are about to lay down the law…..

12. Administration Walkthrough.

It’s just the Principal stopping by to see how everything is going. Sure, it looks like a hurricane just blew through your classroom and the students are about to unleash devastation on the school, but you assure the principal that it’s supposed to look that way. It’s all “part of the plan”!

13. You still need to use the bathroom.

Don’t worry, just 2 more hours to go! Thankfully, at this point your bladder is made of cast iron and you somehow survive. You’ve made it all the way to….

14. Your planning period.

Quick, use the bathroom! Grade as many papers as you can! Run into your room, lock the door and turn off the lights! Pray that you don’t have a PLC or grade level meeting! Isn’t this relaxing? Well, don’t relax too much because here come the kids back into your room.

15. You forgot to use the bathroom...

Dang it! Don’t fret, just one more hour until…

16. Lunchtime!

Quick, get your kids in a line, hustle them down the hall and into the cafeteria because you have just 20 minutes to:

  1. Use the bathroom
  2. Find and eat your lunch
  3. Do some deep breathing 
  4. Center yourself for the rest of the day

17. After lunch.

Your students have just spent 20 minutes filling their bodies with food which gives them energy. Lots and lots of energy. The next 30 minutes of your day will be spent trying to get them somewhat focused for the rest of the day.

18. The end of the day.

Even though children no longer have the ability to read an analog clock, they somehow all know that the end of the day is coming. 10 minutes before that final bell rings you’ll see them start zoning out, packing up and getting ready to ship out. Try though you might to keep their attention, it’s a fool’s errand.

19. Dismissal.

The bell rings and students stampede out the door and down the hall like it’s the running of the bulls. You spend the next 30 minutes making sure they don’t trample each other and getting home safely.

20. After school.

For most other professionals, when the workday is over, you go home. But not you, you’re a teacher! You walk back into your room and start picking up the pieces of your destroyed classroom. Then, you start gathering and grading all the work your students did that day. But you can’t just stay in your classroom all day. That would be silly! Remember you’re a teacher, which means you get paid like a teacher. You need to leave school so you can make it to your second job on time. 

Don’t forget to make a healthy dinner, shower, and get at least 8 hours of sleep so you can do it all again tomorrow!

Welcome to a Day in the Life of a Teacher!

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