I had the thought yesterday that we all might behave differently if we had to show our little “daily behavior chart” to someone. Many teachers still use these as a discipline tool. I don’t like them because I think daily reports tend to focus parent and child on the negative days. I switched several years ago to a weekly chart because although I want my students to be accountable for their actions, I feel like we all need to have a “bad day” once in a while.
Yesterday was my bad day. The longer I teach, the more testing and paperwork I have to complete. I have to write down what I’m going to teach and how I’m going to teach it, then test my children on what I taught and record how they scored. Seems easy until you understand that I am seldom without my fifteen to twenty shadows. We start our day at 7:30am and supervise our children from the moment they enter the building until they leave in the afternoon. We get a forty-five minute daily “planning time” for completing our lesson plans, making copies, preparing our room, etc. Somehow it never quite works out that way.
Yesterday, by the time I took my class to music, conferred with the secretary about some necessary paperwork for a child, and returned to my room I had fifteen minutes of “planning time”. I used it to plan our reading lessons for next week.
I usually leave our building between 3:30 and 4:00, depending on how much preparation time I still need for the next day or next week. Recently we were asked to take on two more tasks which need to be completed during our planning time or after school. So now I can look forward to more time in our building or I can take more work home. I suppose I will opt for the latter since I just don’t have the energy to stay in the building past 4. I know, I know, real jobs require people to stay until five or longer!
So yesterday, after being told about yet another “accountability” requirement, I was grumpy and will probably not get a good report from some of my colleagues. However, it is a good thing they still let me teach children- five minutes with them and I forget about the nonsense required by grownups!