A Day in the Life of a Multimedia Teacher
I teach college prep, advanced, and certification computer multimedia courses to 9th through 12th grade students in a 1:1 computer classroom. Every day is different when teaching high school. There are so many activities, meetings, and events going on before, during, and after school that it is impossible to keep up with all of it. Here is my schedule for a typical Monday.
7:00 a.m. Arrive at school.
I like to schedule at least a half an hour before school to prepare for the day. Early on I would spend this time reviewing lesson plans, writing outlines on the whiteboard, and making sure that all of my lecture notes were in order. These days I use this time to check email, chat with my neighbor teachers, and relax.
7:30 a.m. First period begins.
My first three periods are the same Multimedia CP course. Unfortunately, my first presentation of the day’s materials is rarely my best. Not that I am careless, but that it usually takes me an hour to warm up, and, if something is going to go wrong with my demonstrations, it goes wrong during first period.
8:34 a.m. Second period begins
By second period the caffeine is in full effect and I’m rockin’ and rollin’. I generally reserve Mondays for introducing new material, so by second period I’ve already worked out the kinks and my presentation is more polished and refined. The student are more awake and responsive as well.
9:29 a.m. Break
I like to eat some trail mix about this time.
9:42 a.m. Third period begins
By third period I’m interacting more with the students. Even when I have to spend the day presenting new material, I give the students significant amounts of time (5 to 10 minute intervals) to ingest and digest. Later on in the week I will devote nearly whole periods to independent work time, but not early on in the year.
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10:46 a.m. Fourth period beings
This is my Advanced Multimedia class of mostly juniors and seniors. The kids work in two “production companies” to produce a 10 minute “Friday Show” leapfrogging every other week. These students are self-directed. The fact that their work gets shown publically at school and to the world on the web is great motivation to keep them on task.
11:43 a.m. Lunch begins
Monday is the leadership meeting for the Christian Club that I co-advise. This is a wonderful time of renewal for me as I both get to leave my classroom, and I get to hear a message on leadership from one of our local youth pastors.
12:31 p.m. Fifth period begins
Back to Multimedia CP. Early in the school year I do more demonstration while the students follow along to reinforce the building of computer and art skills. Later in the year the classes are divided into small groups who work together to create their video projects. I have developed a very accurate grading method for group work that rewards hard working students without penalizing them for working with those students who are less motivated.
1:35 p.m. Sixth period begins
I’m going to be honest here, a sixth period class is a sixth period class regardless of subject, location, age group, or teacher: they are tough to teach. I’m exhausted, the kids just want to go home, and after having taught the same thing for four periods, I’m not as dynamic.
2:45 p.m. Seventh period begins
After another 15 minute rest the certification course begins. This class is comprised of 23 students who are focused on learning how to use an industry standard video editing application. In June those who are ready and willing will take a certification exam. This is the first year I am teaching this course so I am learning right along with the students. We only meet formally on Mondays until 4:15. The rest of the week the students work independently on their assignments.
4:30 p.m. Leave to go home.
Some may think that elective teachers work less hard or fewer hours then core teachers. It’s true to a point; I don’t spend hours every weekend grading essays. But elective teachers often work six-period days (or seven like this year) because we are lone riders at our work sites and the demand for our courses is often high. I actually really enjoy my schedule and even though Mondays are challenging, knowing that the students I teach are learning and growing because of my efforts makes the time I invest worthwhile.