A Day in the Life

Here we go -jumping on the MTBoS Blogging Initiative wave


5:30 AM Wake up to hear that Mrs. Dardy is already in the shower so I roll out of bed to grind and brew our morning coffee. I often make a point of going out for a walk or heading to the gym in the morning, but I am kind of dragging after having been out of town for a couple of days. Besides, it is awfully nice to have some peaceful time in the AM with the missus enjoying good coffee.

6:15 AM Start doing some last minute planning for the day. As I mentioned, I was away for a few days and as most of you know it is hard work to get ready to be out of school AND hard work to catch up when you return. Find a couple of good AP FR for Calc BC and I am ready to get going.

6:40 Wake up the kiddos. We usually head to our school’s dining hall a little after 7 for breakfast. On those days we wake the kids just a  few minutes earlier. Today we eat at home and give ourselves a little more time. The bus for my kids picks up in front of my classroom building. I live in a boys’ dorm at a boarding and day school. I am pretty spoiled by walking to work but I pay for it by being Mr. Dardy 24 hours a day on campus. There are some real perks like last week when we had a groups of students from China cooking in our kitchen all day preparing for our International Dinner or the way that I get to know about my students in a deeper way than I used to. I can talk to our boarders about much more than their HW (or lack thereof!) and test grades. So, anyways, we get the kids moving and get their breakfast planned while Mrs. Dardy makes us a lovely breakfast.

7:15 Start brushing Lil Dardy’s hair and getting everyone moving to get prepared for leaving the house on a chilly morning.

7:30 Walk over to the classroom building and stand in the cold air waiting for our crossing guard to call out the arrival of the bus. Some mornings it gets here as early as 7:40 and I get to my classroom with time to think before my 8 AM Calc BC class. Today, it is closer to 7:50 by the time it arrives. I head upstairs to start the day. I open up our computer lab, I fire up my old iMac with my music drive on it, turn on my AppleTV and connect my laptop to it to show off my AP FR questions and I turn on the heater.

Our school has a number of different schedules we run and today is what we call a T Day. Fifty minute class and the day ends at 2:55 PM. Let’s get started…

8:00 – 8:50 AM Bell One – AP Calculus BC

My morning class is a terrific group but they have been having trouble getting to school on time. It is a bit frustrating and today I start with three of my seven students there at 8 but we dive right in and by 8:10 they are all there. We have a great conversation looking together at a free response question on vector functions defined parametrically. We spend about 25 minutes untangling the problem together and conferring about technique. I then flip to another old FR and I sit quietly for about 10 – 12 minutes while they work. This group is really good at sharing ideas and picking each other’s brains. I like listening to them think.

8:55 – 9:45 AM Bell Two – FREE

I split my time between the faculty lounge chatting and running a couple of copies and sitting in my room reading and listening to music this morning. I catch up a bit on my email reading and I eat up some more articles online getting ready for my second prep of the day.

9:50 – 10:40 AM Bell Three – Discrete Math

Yesterday we spent most of our time talking about Powerball odds and financial strategies. Today I circle back to the group quiz they took on Tuesday during my absence. we compare notes and they feel pretty great about their decisions. I graded them later in the day and confirmed their good feelings. We spend some time talking about an unusual voting strategy called preference voting and we have a decent discussion about its benefits and pitfalls.

10:45 – 11:35 AM Bell Four – AP Calculus BC

During this second session of the class I always have to battle myself not to speed up too much. This group of nine students is pretty phenomenal and it is far too easy to just rush through the problems since I already talked about them and this group is quick on the pick up. I fight the urge pretty well this morning and we have a nice leisurely discussion. After working through one together I give them time to work on the second in their group and we get to look at the AP rubric together just in time before the bell rings.

11:40 AM – 12:10 PM Lunch Time

Normally I wait a few minutes, dash over to grab lunch and bring it back to the faculty lounge or to my room. Today a student who graduated two years ago came by to visit so I spent the first 15 minutes catching up with him. He took a summer Geometry course with me and year long courses in Precalculus Honors, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics s well. He is a terrific young man and he is engaged in an interesting project related to a Space X challenge. I excuse myself to grab a super quick lunch and another student stops me in the hall to ask for Calculus help. I run over and back in time to chat for about 5 minutes with the Calculus student who is trying to make up for lost time in school and lost time for HW since he was working on a more pressing assignment for another class. We do not accomplish too much in the brief amount of time we have to chat.

12:15 – 1:05 PM Bell 6 Discrete Math

A repeat of the earlier class and I let them out a few minutes early since I am subbing for a colleague next Bell and I need to get my room in some oder for my last class of the day.

1:10 – 2:00 PM Substitute for an English class

I have some time to finish up some Geometry grading while supervising an English class. They have a quiet reading assignment while I get some work done.

2:05 – 2:55 PM Bell 8 Geometry

I am going to write more about this class later tonight or tomorrow. We have been really struggling with basic Algebra in writing line equations. I am trying to keep some good humor about all of this but I am getting pretty frustrated. We start by projecting last night’s HW on the AppleTV but very few students have their work out while we are reviewing. I have to take that as a sign that many of them are not actually completing what I am asking them to complete. We do have a decent conversation about the problems which makes me think that they could do the work, many are just choosing not to. I need to figure out a meaningful way to motivate more HW completion without resorting to punitive measures. Need to think…

We then look at a problem set together that focuses on the midsgement theorem for triangles. I spend some time circulating and listening in while they do most of this work on their own. I return quizzes at the end of the class and another T day is now in the books. At least, the classroom portion of the day is…

3:00 – 3:30 PM Bell 9 Conference Time

Not much action in after school help today and my former student vista again. He poses a challenging problem for my consideration. One hundred passengers enter a plane and the first passenger sits in the wrong seat since s/he misplaced his boarding pass. I know this is not realistic in these days! Now, every other passenger sits in the right seat if it is open or random;y chooses a seat if someone is already sitting in his/her seat. What is the probability that the final passenger gets to sit in the proper assigned seat? I need to do some thinking on this one.

3:35 – 4:35 PM

Stand around outside chatting with passing students and waiting for my kiddos to come off the bus. We walk home and I make them nachos for an afternoon snack. Lil Dardy watches an episode of Lab Rats while her big brother plays his new PS4 game. I take a brief nap while Lil watches an episode of Chowder.

4:45 – 5:30 PM

Mrs. Dardy returns from work, my boy gets dressed for his basketball practice and I catch up with the missus for a few minutes before heading out to pick up another boy on the way to basketball.

5:30 – 6:00 PM

Jot down some HW notes for my Calc and Discrete kiddos. I post assignments to our LMS and send out group emails.

6:00 – 7:30 PM Family Style Dinner

Two nights each week we have a sit down dinner where boarding students sit at tables with faculty and their families. On Monday and Thursday we eat like this. Since my son has basketball, he is not with us tonight. Dinner is from 6:15 – 7 and my daughter plays with friends for awhile after dinner. Tonight she was excited to bring along her new doll. It is a bit of an America Girl knockoff. She was proud to show it to some of her friends and to some of the campus moms. She even let one of the students at our table hold her for awhile. While she was playing with friends after dinner I get to chat for awhile.

7:45 – 9:15 PM Grading

I FINALLY finish the grading that has been hanging around from my two days off and then I get started on my Day in the Life blog post.

Whew. Off to bed soon. Another blog post to come tomorrow…





One thought on “A Day in the Life”

  1. I enjoyed reading about your day. Although, I cannot imagine having 7 classes a day and having such a variety of classes. Shew! That’s a lot of work.

    Let me know your email address and I’ll gladly send you my graph theory files. 🙂

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