A Day in the Life

Some days are busier than others, today was pretty busy. Here is what I’ve done so far:

4:00 AM – Wake up. I set an alarm for five, but rarely sleep-in until the alarm wakes me up. A quick cup of coffee.

4:30 – Out for a run. My phone said 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but with a ten mph wind it feels chillier. Still, not too bad for the first week in December. I have a three mile loop around town that serves as my minimum run and takes 20-25 minutes.

5:15 – A quick shower and breakfast.

6:00 – I start my mornings with mindfulness meditation, checking the news, a hot cup of coffee and making preparations for the day.

7:15 – Arrive at school and set up the classroom(s) that I will be using. We are now using hybrid instruction for students who are quarantining, so I will teach some classes both in-person and virtually.

7:30 – First meeting of the day to discuss how to support students who need extra attention at the beginning of the new quarter.

8:15 – First class, honors 20th Century World History. Today I am teaching juniors about the different approaches to confronting western empire that Gandhi and Mao took in the twentieth century. I have gathered some resources, timelines, images, and primary and secondary sources, split the students into two groups, and created a central question for them to answer by designing a website on either Mao or Gandhi.

9:20 – 19th Century World History, where I am teaching sophomores about the expansion of the British Empire into China just before the Opium Wars. They will use resources on the First Opium War from MIT to gather background information on the opium trade and a discussion will begin laying the foundations for an essay that will be completed next week.

10:25 – 7th grade religion, where we are working on the scripting of questions for an oral history project where the students will interview someone in their life about the importance of religion and religious traditions.

11:30 – Study hall is a chance to talk to students I don’t teach or haven’t seen in a while as well as help students who I do teach. There are about thirty students here working on different things ranging from cell phone games to college math. I am able to grade some assignments.

12:15 – Lunch

1:05 – I meet with a different section of 19th century history. Because of the rotating block schedule, this section is ahead of the other group by one period. They are also reading and discussing the Opium War today, focusing on the production of the drug in the British Empire and the outbreak of the war folllowed by a reading review assignment.

2:10 – Finally, US history, where we discuss the designs of a new twenty-dollar bill that students have been working on after watching the movie Harriet and doing a document study on the Middle Passage and slave trade in the United States. They designed new bills for homework and present their work to each other today. Afterwards, they read about westward expansion and Manifest Destiny.

3:30 – Faculty meeting after school

4:30 – I finish the last comments on my Walking the Tokaido professional development that I have been working on for the past few months before dinner.

6:00 – I type a blog post for the Hour of History. For the next few hours I will unwind by reflecting, playing the violin, working more or reading one of the several books I am working my way through.

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