A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

As a Diverse Learner (Special Education) resident teacher, there is a lot of variety in my schedule. This is an example of what my day looks like:

7 a.m.: Arrive at school, meet with my mentor teacher and co-resident in our classroom to discuss the day’s schedule.

8:05 a.m.: The students start arriving and I greet them as they enter the building.

8:15 a.m.: I co-teach in a general education 8th grade science class with a general education teacher. The students are learning about chemical reactions. I have adapted some of the readings and added accommodations for Diverse Learner students to better access the material. The students are doing an experiment today, and we are monitoring their group participation with a rubric.

9:25 a.m.: We have our weekly co-planning meeting with the general education 8th grade science teacher, the science resident teacher, my co-resident, my mentor, and myself. We discuss the upcoming unit and assign teaching times for the next week.

10:35 a.m.: At this point in the school year my co-resident and I go to two classes alone each day to get a half day of lead teaching. This week she is co-teaching in our 8th grade general education social studies class. The students just started learning about the holocaust, and they are doing a writing assignment about what color the holocaust reminds them of. This is an opportunity to recall the definitions of similes and metaphors. While my co-resident is in class I co-plan with my mentor teacher for the next week of social studies.

11:45 a.m.: Classes are dismissed and 8th grade students go to advisory. Right now, students are applying to high schools and I spend the half hour meeting with my diverse learner students to make sure that they have what they need to confirm with the high school of their choice.

12:15 p.m.: We are on lunch break. My co-resident and I usually eat lunch with the other three middle school residents at our school. Right now, we are all completing edTPA, a piece of getting certified to teach in the state of Illinois, so there is a lot to discuss!  Because I am a student at DePaul University, this is my only chance to connect with many of the National Louis University students outside of monthly training. The relationships with the other residents in my grade are very close, and we all co-teach together as well.

1 p.m.: The students come back from lunch and recess and start entering class again. My co-resident is teaching our self-contained social studies class for 7th and 8th grade diverse learner students. She is running stations with them, and I will be doing the corrective reading activity at one of the stations to help prepare students for their upcoming standardized tests. 

2:05 p.m.: Students wrap up and move to their next class. I head with 5 students to another classroom for self-contained 8th grade math.  While I am setting up at the beginning, the boys all take a restroom break. We do a do now, math talk, station work, and an exit ticket most days. Today the students are wrapping up learning about linear equations in word problems. We are also getting ready for an upcoming pizza party, so everything is pizza themed! 

3:05 p.m.: School is dismissed, and I walk my students back to their homeroom. For the next ten minutes, I usually check in with various students and teachers. Most students are out of the school by 3:20 p.m.

3:20 p.m.: My mentor teacher, co-resident, and I discuss what we are going to work on after school. Today we are filing papers, entering grades, making positive phone calls home, and printing some activities for tomorrow.

4 p.m.: My co-resident and I leave for the day, and will likely head home to work on graduate school homework. DePaul University finals are coming up!

Posted on April 13, 2017 by Sarah Mitchell


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About Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell is a resident in the AUSL Chicago Teacher Residency program teaching 7th and 8th grade at Tarkington School of Excellence in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. Sarah is originally from Iowa City, Iowa and served as a City Year Corps Member for two years in San Antonio, Texas. She is a graduate of DePaul University where she majored in Sociology.

The Chicago Teacher Residency is a full-time, yearlong urban teacher training program that equips residents with the training, skills, and strategies that will empower their students to pursue their dreams.

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