Non-teaching Teacher Tasks

Try saying that three times fast.

The title of today’s post was the best way I could think to describe my day.  Today was filled with fairly typical things that a part of a teacher’s job, but don’t involve teaching.

I wrote an article about the student trip I lead this summer to Europe.  My school is always looking to for exciting and new things to feature in our various publications.  The director of the school’s magazine asked if I could send her a description of the trip and some photos to feature in the next issue.  So I wrote my article and searched for the best photos I had.  I photoshopped the pics so they’d be publication-ready.  I also emailed the students who attended the trip and requested that they share some of their own reflections for the magazine as well.

After the article, I met with my department chair to discuss class sizes.  We’re meeting as a full department tomorrow, so today we mainly just focused on managing techniques for my own classes.  We also debated the pros and cons of moving the yearbook staff to its own room.  I’m not sure what, if anything, will come from that discussion, but we’re brainstorming some options we might have.

I fixed a desk chair (even though I am possibly the least handy person in the entire world).

I wrote another college recommendation letter and uploaded it to the student portfolio website.  

I began planning the agenda for the freshman class meeting next week.  My co-moderator is out on maternity leave which makes me the sole keeper of the dreaded freshman class business binder.  Luckily for me, my co-moderator is extremely organized, so it wasn’t too painful.  Still I’m not really looking forward to moderating the frosh alone for first quarter.

I also designed some labels for each of my class participation clipboards and organized a new filing system for my planning and grading materials.

But by far, the most important task I completed today was reprogramming my Keurig machine. Mmmm…tea. 😉

These are the kind of tasks that I think are often overlooked as part of a teacher’s job.  The students aren’t in classes yet, so today I was able to accomplish these things between 8:30 and 4:30, but that is not the usual.  These are the types of tasks that sneak up on a person and work their way into our planning period and when they do that, we then have to find time for actual planning.

I hope this post doesn’t sound whiny because that is not the intent.  I had a great day.  I love my job and I didn’t mind any of these tasks – they had to be done.  It’s just that I often think it’s assumed in our culture that teachers are only working when they are up in front of a classroom filled with kids.  And I think this is an unfair assumption to make.  

So in total today, I spent 8 hours on my non-teaching teacher tasks.  

Tomorrow is an exciting day.  I meet my frosh for the first time!

Update: I couldn’t bear to watch my Cardinals lose tonight, so I did some additional school work after dinner. I just finished working on my frosh theology class. I’ve now updated the website, revised classroom procedures and planned and prepped the first week of lessons. I’m adding another 3.5 hours of work bringing the total for today to 11.5. And now…I’m going to bed. 🙂

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