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A Day in the Life of an Elementary Computer Teacher/ Technology Integration Specialist

 A Day in the Life of an Elementary Computer Teacher/ Technology Integration Specialist

Kelly Tenkely |

I am a computer teacher at a large private school. I teach 545 students every week in kindergarten through fifth grade. During my off hours, I am a technology integration specialist, helping teachers utilize technology to increase student learning.

A Typical School Day:

7:00 Leave the house, I am SO lucky to live minutes away from the school, on nice days I walk.

7:15 Arrive at school, check my mailbox in the teachers lounge. I usually run into other staff members who convince me to make a trip down to Wild Blue (we have a Starbucks coffee shop in our school). Walk 1/2 a mile from one end of our building to the other to get a carmel chai tea to start the morning and catch up with colleagues.

7:35 Plug in laptop and start answering emails, even though I checked it at 10:30pm the night before, I have at least 115 every morning (give or take a few). I Twitter as I go about my day ( ; Emails range from list servs that I subscribe to, to questions from parents about Internet Safety, to requests for use of one of our mobile labs, to questions about how one of our programs works.

8:00 The bell rings and students filter through my room with good morning hugs. I get a daily visit from a second grader who updates me on what new shortcuts he has learned at his one on one Apple training from the night before.

8:10 The second bell rings announcing the start of school. Announcements come on over our intercom and I jot down notes for the day on a piece of paper to refer to at the end of the day during carpool for announcements about after school activities. Our principal reads our virtue of the week and I write it down on my whiteboard for students to refer to. Students pray over the intercom and as a school we say the pledge of allegiance.

8:15 Turn on 30 iMacs in my lab and write directions for my students on the whiteboard. Disinfect my keyboards and mice with a UV sanitizing wand (have to kill all those germs!).

8:25 Put out name tags for my first class.

8:30 Write a blog post on, approve comments, delete spam. As I write, I much on a Kashi bar for breakfast.

9:00 Meet with the other specialists to discuss what we are working on with students (we try to provide cross curricular learning as much as possible).

9:20 My first class filters in and sits in my “silent zone” at the front of the classroom. I give instructions for the day. Today students are uploading commercials that they created for to a video sharing site Students will then embed their video into a website they have been creating throughout the year. I answer questions and demonstrate the process using my Mimio interactive whiteboard.

9:30 Students go to their computers, login and get to work. I walk around to answer questions and look at student websites. My classroom is set up with computers on two walls of the room with a strip of computers down the center. I walk around my ‘track’ about 150 times a day.

9:55 Class is over, as students are leaving I collect name tags and put out the next set of class name tags. A teacher stops in to ask a question about a problem she is having with email. I show her how to fix the problem as my next class filters in.

10:00 The second class filters in and sits in the silent zone. They too are uploading commercials they have made to a video sharing site and embedding into their website. These are commercials that they have created to advertise about their website.

10:35 Class is over. Once again I pick up name tags and put out a new set. I check emails, I usually have about 30 new since I have checked last. I go through as many as I can before my next class comes in.

10:45 Class number 3 comes in. These students are a week behind the other classes and are creating background music for their commercial using Garageband. They will be creating a song, exporting to iTunes, and recording their slide show with the new music. I give directions and they go to their computers to start working.

11:20 Students leave. I collect name tags and put out the next set. I finish responding to emails and set up tabs on Firefox for my next class. I go through my RSS feed using Google Reader to catch up on the latest gadgets, websites, and education related blogs.

11:40 Go to the staff lounge for lunch. I am a creature of habit, my favorite lunch is peanut butter spread on whole wheat saltines, whatever fruit is in season (I am known for my red fingers during pomegranate season), and a candy bar of some sort. Teachers swap stories from the morning.

12:10 Students are waiting lined up at my doorway. They sit in the silent zone and receive instruction for the day. These kids are creating a slide show of math facts with pictures. I show them how to login to and how to search for pictures. Students go to work at their computers as I make laps around the track to help out.

12:50 Students leave, I pick up name tags and put the new set out. I check emails again and respond to as many as I can. This is my first bathroom break of the day.

1:05 Second grade students come in. They have written an autobiography poem in Pages and are now turning it into a slide show. I give directions from where we left off the previous week. Again I make laps around the track to help students and sit with them as they show me their work.

1:40 Students leave. I pick up name tags and pick up left over headphones and flash drives. I return the forgotten items to the correct classrooms.

1:50 I open up our grade book program and start entering the days grades from a notebook that I keep notes in throughout the day.

2:20 I log onto, my students use to blog, collaborate, and communicate. I approve new pictures that have been uploaded and look through the days activity on the site. I jot down a note to remind me to speak to a student about our rule not to share a phone number online.

2:40 I visit our class Fliggo site to check on the status of our video uploads for the day. I start grading videos with a rubric.

3:10 I create a quick screencast tutorial for teachers about a new web resource that I found that relates to a lesson they are teaching this month. I send the screencast in an email.

3:15 I get an email back about a teacher who is interested in using the new web resource with their class and book a time where I can show her more in-depth how it would be used. We also set up a time for her class to use one of the computer labs.

3:20 The bell rings signaling the end of the school day. I collect a walkie talkie, bull horn and a few sheets of stickers and head to carpool. I get 200 students in my carpool sitting and quiet. I choose the two quietest students to be my carpool king and queen for the day. They hand out stickers to other students who are sitting quietly. Numbers are called over the walkie talkie and I repeat them over the bull horn. Parents filter in and out of the room with purple slips to pick up students directly from the room.

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3:40 Carpool is over. I bring the remaining students who didn’t get picked up to the front desk where they can call a parent. I drop off the purple slips I collected and head to the lounge to check for mail.

3:50 I collect notes I have been making about Interactive whiteboards and rush to a demo.

4:00 I hand out rubrics to other staff members who are attending the demonstration. We watch the demo, ask questions, and fill out the rubrics. I collect the rubrics and go over them later at home. I write up a summary to send to the other committee members.

5:30 I check emails and RSS feed again. I check out 4 new websites that could be beneficial in the classroom.

6:00 I read The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman while I cook dinner.

Kelly Tenkley is a featured writer for Teaching. Read her numerous tips for utilizing technology in the classroom.

Read more form this series….

A Day in the Life of a School Psychologist

A Day in the Life of a Third Grade Teacher

A Day in the Life of a Multimedia Teacher

A Day in the Life of a Special Education Teacher

A Day in the Life of a High School English Teacher

A Day in the Life of an Elementary School Music Teacher

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