The day starts at 7:30 am, with smiling (and grumpy) faced students coming in to eat breakfast and do a quick review sheet. Soon after morning announcements, they leave for the first class of the day as another class comes in for the first transition. 3 hours and two transitions later, we take the students to their daily integrals (P.E., Music, Art). Then they have lunch and recess and return to their third class. With a final transition, the home class returns for the last lessons of the day before eating supper and getting ready for dismissal. We ensure the students get safely on their buses and either meet up for afternoon meetings with other staff members or make sure we are ready with the next days materials.
I have learned a lot about classroom management, small group reading intervention, co-teaching, and parent-teacher relationships these past few years. My co-workers are like part of my family - we support each other and allow for necessary venting in order to keep our sanity, but we try to stay positive and keep the students' needs in mind. The hardest part of the job is trying to meet all of the expectations set by Leadership - track everything, prevent fights, demand 100%, monitor hall activity, escort scholars everywhere, grades, recess duty, scholar study, call parents, help with recruitment, use timers, create anchor charts, have energy! But it is so worth it when you see a student who was struggling finally understand, or they come to give you a hug because they'll miss you over the weekend. I think coming to work for KIPP was one of the best decisions and I believe in what they are trying to accomplish.