A Guest Blog Post by Donnie Dicus
Donnie Dicus is a Third Grade Teacher at Manuel ‘Lito’ Peña Jr. Elementary School in the Cartwright School District and a 2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year Semifinalist.
I’ve been asked to share what a week in the life of a teacher looks like so I chose the week before Spring Break.
As I’m sure you can imagine, the week before any break is busy for any teacher. A break usually marks the end of a grading quarter so all student work must be completed.
I’m convinced breaks are full moons for students. They know a break is coming and begin to get real antsy, rambunctious, and impatient. By the time a break comes, it is much deserved for every educator who managed to squeeze 15 hours worth of work into an 8 hour day.
Saturday – Monday
My week started off at a National Board Workshop in Tubac. I spent the weekend working with a dozen coaches to support nearly 50 teachers pursuing National Board Certification.
Once that workshop was done on Sunday morning, I spent Sunday evening and Monday with a group of teachers who are rewriting the support systems in place to help teachers become more successful at achieving National Board Certification in Arizona.
I returned to my 3rd Grade classroom on Tuesday. As soon as I got there, I had to cover my walls, move desks around, and set up Chrome Books to prepare for a district wide benchmark assessment. My students spent the day doing a reading and math assessment. Once the day was over, I facilitated a technology training at our weekly staff meeting.
Wednesday was a normal day with my students. We began our day with breakfast. Then, we moved into reading instruction. We split up for our intervention groups. We took a bathroom break and then did a social studies lesson. We went to lunch and ended our day with math instruction. Next, I hosted 15 teachers in my district who are National Board candidates who I help coach at our monthly meetings.
Thursday is early release day in my district so our students left after lunch. Teachers spent the afternoon in trainings and team meetings.
At the end of the day, I was on my way to something many teachers in our state have– a part time job. I bartend at a resort to make money to cover bills and classroom expenses so my students will always have a pencil and a book in their hands.
Friday afternoon, I celebrated the hard work my students accomplished this quarter. We ended the day on a jubilant note playing games and congratulating one another.
When the bell rang at 2:30 and my kids left for their vacation, I was as ready as them for a break. I packed my bag full of papers to grade and lessons to write. Then, I got into my car and headed back to my part time job.
What was your week before spring break like?