Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Day in the Life

So I've been a Literacy Coach now for about 6 weeks. Here's what a typical day in my life is like now at work. btw....I'm loving my job!

7:30 - In early before contract time starts for a School Improvement Meeting. Meet in the teacher's lounge with my principal and a group of teachers to discuss our goals in the areas of continuous academic improvement, building positive partnerships with the community, safe and caring learning environment  and managing funds with financial responsibility. Great group, making jokes and having fun...even though it's only 7:30 am.

7:50 - Excuse myself to run over to the National Junior Honor Society's meeting at the middle school. Hoping to recruit at least ten 7th and 8th graders to donate service hours to our elementary school's Family Literacy Night. Run up the stairs and am out of breath as I explain the theme and what I'm looking for. Explain that it's going to be all fancy, as our theme is "A Red Carpet Affair," and I think they are hooked when I tell them that we need a red carpet, Hollywood stars, and some of them to be either VIP people or Paparazzi. All the kids raise their hands when I ask who's interested. Win!

8:00 - Head back to my first meeting. See my mentee on the way back and was happy to do so! Tell her I'm looking for help for our event and, thinking I'm asking her, she offers. What a nice girl! Buuuttt, she's happy to hear I was looking for kids and not adults.

8:03 - Sit back down in the School Improvement meeting. Try to figure out what I missed, and by the time I do, it's time to go.

8:21 - On my way out, ask my principal if we can feed the middle school kids who are giving us service hours. She agrees, and that's one less conflict on my to do list!

8:25 - Back in my classroom, I hurry up and update the power point I'm using for our common plan meetings. I add the norms for the current grade level and print their norm sheets out to give them. The reading specialist, Christine, runs down for the copies while I get everything else ready.

8:44 - On our way to the meeting, Christine and I notice all these boxes of books dumped outside the book room. She takes my things to the meeting, and I stay back to move books into the room....but, I can't get the lock on the door to open. I run to the office and ask them to see if maintenance can do it. Wouldn't be a big deal, but there was a Principal's Coffee today and parents were visiting classrooms. Needed to keep things tidy!

8:47 - Make it up to the meeting. On our agenda: review the Office Discipline Referral, share successes from the last two weeks, follow up with norms, guided reading groups, and scheduling, and then plan what skills and strategies they will be teaching for the next week. Talk about assessment of the skills and a multitude of other things. Feeling really great about the work we accomplished as a team!

10:00 - Head back to my room to grab the flyer original for our Family Literacy Night. Go down to the black and white copy machine to make copies to be sent home today, but the red ink on the original isn't showing up in black and white. Go back to my room, change all the text to black, and then reprint. But then I have to shrink the originals down to half size so I can get two flyers per sheet of paper.

Grab the purple paper, load it in the copy machine and make 176 copies. Take the copies, cut them in half, and begin counting out enough for each classroom. Paper clip them, label them, and then realize at the end I was somehow 20 short. I go back to the copy machine, load the purple paper back in, make 10 more, cut them to have 20, and finish my last set.

Go to the mailboxes and deliver.

Check something off the list.

This was just funny!

approximately 10:45 - Head back to my room and check emails, send out an email to all the teachers on the Family Literacy Night committee, and then take a few minutes to think about what is up next.

A second grade teacher stops by and tells me she's doing the I-PICK lesson for picking Just Right books and extends and invitation for me to come see her. I make a mental note to stop by after lunch.

The other reading specialist comes back in as I'm getting the norms sheet ready for the other grade level meeting I'm having after lunch. We catch up, I finish the norms and the corresponding power point, and then I run to make copies.

11:25 - In the office I'm doing just a little more revision on the norms, but while talking to another teacher at the same time, so I'm making all kinds of mistakes. Definitely can't deeply think and talk at the same time. End up having to reprint the norms like three times because I wasn't focused!

11:40 - Go back to my room to drop off the sheets and get everything in an organized pile before lunch. Grab my Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI) book to ask a question of a colleague as I head to lunch.

11:45 - Stop by her room, ask a question, chat a little, then I'm off to lunch, 20 minutes late.

12:00 - Eat lunch fairly quickly so I can make it to playground duty on time.

12:20 - Pick up the 2nd and 3rd graders and go outside for recess. Beautiful day and I'm feeling lucky to be outside, and also that it's going to be so annoying when it's 10 below. But for today, Naylani hides behind me from Isaiah, a boy crashes into the fence and chips a tooth, and Halie shows me 14 cartwheels. I want to be a third grader again....minus that chipped tooth.

12:35 - Bell rings and the helpers put all the playground equipment away. They keep asking me the same question over and over, which doesn't need an answer for at least two weeks, so I just ask them to do their job and we'll worry about it later. When they continue, I ask them if they want to be fired today? hahhahaaa. (Middle school kids get my humor way easier...) They kinda laugh and then stop : )

12:42ish - back in my room and I have an hour till my next meeting. Decide I will make some of those QRI copies so I head down to the copy machine, but then I remember my mental note to go see the second graders and their I-PICK books. Stop in there and things are going so well with a shoe metaphor, so I run to grab my iPad to get a few pics. The teacher tells me to jump in and coteach...I love it! We tag team the lesson and get the kids reading, and then I slip out to go get those copies ready.

1:05 - When I get back to the office to make the copies, the secretary asks me when the jackets I ordered will be in. I realize I never completed the order, so I complete it now: print the doc, fill it out, scan it back to email, and the reply to the rep from the company. By the time I finish, I have to go to my next meeting. I also didn't get the QRI copies done.

1:40 - Arrive at my next meeting. Tell some fun stories before we begin. Go through the same agenda as the last group and get lots done. Someone asks me a question about how to do something in first grade, and I reply, "Well, I never taught this grade level, so I'm just going to make this up...." They all laugh, I think aloud my answer, and they think it could work. Win. Productive meeting again...feeling awesome!

2:52 - The announcements come on and the teachers realize we were so involved we forgot our meeting ended at 1:50. One runs out to grab the kiddos. I run over to ask the principal a few questions about our evaluations, and then I head back to my room.

3:10 - Back in my room, catch up with Christine and the Stephanie. Talk about our day, and then the Steph heads back to her room to get some things done.

3:30ish - Christine and I had decided to work on a few things after school before we left, so I show her the online lesson planner, we talk about evaluations, and I show her her ePortfolio for the mentoring program. We decide we need to make an order for some supplies for Family Literacy night, but since it's already 4:30, we decide to wait until tomorrow.

4:30 - Wrap things up and head home. Get outside the school door only to realize I left a bunch of dishes in my room. I go get them, lock up the classroom and finally head home.

So that's all...a busy day, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm loving all the collaboration that's happening in various classrooms! Love teaching, love the teachers at my school, love literacy....that about sums it up!

Happy Friday eve!


  1. Hi there!
    I am reaching out to fellow Reading Specialists/Literacy Coaches to see who would be interested in participating in a blog hop of approximately 25 participants featuring best practices in literacy. I recently connected with Carla from Comprehension Connection who came up with the great idea. It is tentatively scheduled for October 25-27th. We are thinking of using a "Mystery/Detective" theme.

    We would love if you joined us! If interested, please respond with your email address and I can forward you our official email and google doc.

    Thank you,

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