Summer school is exhausting! Allow me to share some info about my days with my 19 little ones. First off, the curriculum is designed for small group instruction, and 19 students is BY NO MEANS a small group. I am obviously not happy about this.
7:45am - Pick up all 75 first graders in the gym. Break up approximately two fights and answer the questions "When is lunch?" and "Today are we going to recess?" about 16 times on the short walk to our classrooms.
7:50-8:00am - Students journal while the breakfast-eaters trickle in. Replace at least 3 pencils which have now been broken within the first 10 minutes of class.
8:00-9:15am - Fluency and Word Work practice. Explain (again) to many students that there will be no recess in summer school. Question the fact that they all "manage" to read 60-80 words per minute of the fluency passages, yet only read about 20 words on the benchmark measure. Sing word wall songs and try to make students stop laughing at me when my voice cracks with the high notes.
9:15-9:30am - Restroom break. Stop at least 5 boys from scaling the bathroom walls to look out the high windows and/or splashing each other with water. When they see the playground out the window, explain (again) that there will be no recess during summer school.
9:30-11:00am - Attempt to do small groups and learning stations. Pick a team leader for each of the three groups, who hopefully will not let the "power" go to their heads. Put on reading hat to (attempt to) convey to students that I cannot be bothered during small group work. See each of my three groups, while simultaneously supervising two other stations. Tell about 15 students that they cannot go to the restroom, since we just went 5 minutes earlier. Replace 12 broken pencils, and ask at least 4 students to "make dots" for unnacceptable behavior. Explain that there will be no recess during summer school, and answer the question "WHEN IS LUNCH???" about 9 times.
11:00-11:30am - Wrap up reading instruction with a culminating activity. Pass out crayons again, as this is typically creative. Threaten students within an inch of their lives not to break my crayons intentionally. After the activity, throw away at least 8 (intentionally) broken crayons. Oh yeah, and replace 4 pencils.
11:30-11:50am - Lunch. Try to enjoy your lunch while dining with 7 year olds for 20 minutes. Do your best to ignore the fact that the kid next to you just sneezed on your sandwich and reached over to touch your apple. Answer a lot of questions, some of which are about recess. Pretend to understand kids with speech impediments who are speaking with their mouths full, by saying things like "Oh wow," "that's cool," or "You're kidding!"
11:50-12:00pm - Restroom break. Read above account of restroom breaks.
12:00-1:15pm - Math block. Attempt to control the now out-of-control students who are ready to go home. Make many of them "make dots" and threaten many others within an inch of their dot-free days. Attempt to teach an entire concept every day and move onto the next concept the next day. Try not to let it bother you that half of the class is staring at you with a glazed-over look.
1:15-1:25pm - Pass out the day's work and attempt to use what little is left of your voice to talk over the chaos in order to give instructions. Repeat the exact same thing at least 12 times before seeing any results. Pack up and head out.
1:25-1:45pm - Supervise dismissal. Try your best to make sure that every one of the first graders gets onto the correct bus to their home school. Explain to panicked parents that you will find their child. Frantically try to think of the word for "last name" in Spanish (apellido, I believe). Answer two more questions about why we didn't go to recess that day.
Who wants to teach summer school???