A ‘Day In The Life’ of a Teacher Working From Home

Feb 7, 2021 | News, Teacher Spotlight

By Yeimy Castro – Spanish Teacher, Onslow Virtual School

 

2020! A year we won’t forget. I would like to share some of the things I usually do during my work at Onslow Virtual School (OVS).

6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast and Getting Dressed.

I love starting my day with a good cup of coffee and a great breakfast. For me, it is important to have lots of energy for the rest of the day; eggs and toast are my favorite. Getting ready to see my students, I like to imagine I am going to my classroom, and they can see me. Working from home demands the same respect as if I were going to the school, so I try to look good and give the students a good expression. Pants and Sweaters are my favorite.

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. – Checking Staff Announcements Platform

Our county works with TEAMS and this platform is never quiet! Many ideas are posted daily from the additional staff, the principal, and the district, including shout-outs and teaching ideas. I like starting my day with this information before my classes begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Teaching Time

On Mondays, I share WAG, the weekly planner, with all my groups. Students have access on the first day of the week to all the activities they will work on during the rest of the week, including learning targets, objectives, and activities. This way, students become more independent and can be prepared for the week.

Parents also receive the WAG planning via email. The engagement of the parents/guardians is key in this remote process.

I connect with Spanish 1 at 08:00 am, Spanish 2A at 09:00 am, and Spanish 2B at 10:00 am. These kids are so sweet, and they really want to learn and have high expectations towards learning a new language. They enjoy practicing the pronunciation and participating in the activities in class. Students in Spanish 2 are more advanced than Spanish 1, so I challenge them a little more with advanced activities. The classes are live, and students participate in real-time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Tracking Attendance

Attendance is especially important in remote learning. With the TEAMS tool named Insight, it is easier to track the students’ interaction on the platform. Taking daily attendance can be very demanding and more so if you have big groups, but it is worth it. Students who have been absent for a certain amount of time will have their Parent/Guardian contacted to provide any assistance they require if they have a situation. This is done and recorded in PowerSchool daily.

Parents also receive the WAG planning via email. The engagement of the parents/guardians is key in this remote process.

I connect with Spanish 1 at 08:00 am, Spanish 2A at 09:00 am, and Spanish 2B at 10:00 am. These kids are so sweet, and they really want to learn and have high expectations towards learning a new language. They enjoy practicing the pronunciation and participating in the activities in class. Students in Spanish 2 are more advanced than Spanish 1, so I challenge them a little more with advanced activities. The classes are live, and students participate in real-time.

 

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunchtime

This is the part where I am glad to be a virtual teacher. I like eating fresh meals, and being at home allows me to make my lunch and eat it fresh. For Hispanic people like me, lunch is the main meal of the day, so cooking at lunchtime makes me happy and gives me energy for the rest of the day. On a normal day I can cook some beans, rice, and meat. Those are the usual lunches in my country, Colombia, even when they look like dinner in the U.S

 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Staff Meeting, Checking Emails and Grading Assignments

We usually meet with the elective teachers once a week to discuss the school’s news, important information, and some live meeting ideas. We also express the doubts we could be having during the week. Emails are key in this process; all the information is provided by email and is one of the official ways to contact parents and inform them about student’s development. I like checking my email daily not to have unread emails by the end of the week.

Grading assignments are fun. I can see the progress of the students in each class. The platform provides a space to give feedback in each activity, and this is returned to the students so they can identify what they can do better. Once the deadline has been reached, I can upload the grades into Gradebook in PowerSchool. This way, students can see their updated grades every week, and so can parents.

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Planning Time and Tutoring

I like to sit and plan activities with a cup of coffee. I try to find the correct instruction for their level, and my goals are that students feel comfortable and enjoy the lessons. I tend to assign no more than two assessments per week – I agree with the saying ‘quality before quantity. I include practice activities for students to be done in real-time with me or during their independent time. They can do these assignments through Microsoft TEAMS, Pear Deck, Study Island, Kahoot, or Quizzes. There are many enjoyable resources for students to keep their interest in the class.

 

 

Tutoring / One-on-one sessions

The teacher assigns this space, or students can request them if they desire additional help. Students that are struggling with any activity or need to be retaught a session are invited to join this one-on-one or small group meeting. This can help students to overcome and feel more confident in the general live meeting.

I have seen how these students who attend the small group meetings participate more in the whole group meetings. We use the tutoring channel in Microsoft TEAMS to schedule or request any meetings.

4:00 pm – After journal, time for me

Once I finish my school journal, I try to get off my computer. The first thing I do is clean my kitchen. After that, I work out and continue with the normal activities of my day. They include cooking dinner, cleaning my house, doing laundry, watching a show, and getting ready for the next day.

Next day: Organization is fundamental in my life. Being virtual, we have only scheduled our live teaching sessions. That is why I have created my own schedule to take advantage of my time and obtain the best of the week.

The schedule I have created can be flexible if any other school activity is assigned (IEP meetings, full staff meetings, attending schools for tests such as ACT, EOG, and EOC).

 

 

 

 

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