Worktime Sounds

I was exhausted yesterday after a day of WORKTIME. My 107 middle-schoolers are on a deadline. Tuesday night they will showcase an issue of their choosing at our Social Issue Fair. They spent 40 minutes working yesterday. I spent 40 minutes times 5 periods overseeing and offering support. It sounded like this:

  • “The tape dispenser’s out. Is there more?” Sure. Here you go.
  • “Can I print these images for my poster?” Sure. Airdrop them to Sally’s Macbook…OK, they are at the library printer. Go get them.
  • “It printed too big  and won’t fit on the poster.” No worries. Let’s print a smaller one.
  • “Do you have a box we can use to collect donations? Would this work (showing an unopened box of tissues)? Yes, but it is full of tissues.  Just pull out the tissues – you can put them in this bin and then use the box.
  • What do you need for your display?
    • Just a wall to hang this poster on. (I jotted this down on my spreadsheet)
    • A table near a wall – We need a place to hold the leaf cookies we are selling to raise money for the environment and we want our poster behind the table on the wall. (I jotted this down on my spreadsheet)
    • Just a table so my iPad can sit on it and people can sit and view it. (I jotted this down on my spreadsheet)
  • “Is this enough? Let’s see – Did you name your issue? Did you explain why it is an issue? Did you suggest ways the reader can help? Did you add book titles related to the issue? You will know it is enough when you have answered these questions. You need to decide.
  • “Where’s the tape?” In a loud voice, “Who has the tape?”

My students were doing all the work yesterday. I was just offering support and encouragement. I was gathering information so by Tuesday all 107 students’ project can be on displayed. We all were ona deadline. We all pushed to keep going. No wonder I was exhausted.

12 thoughts on “Worktime Sounds

  1. dianeandlynne says:

    Sorry, Sally, but you are so wrong. The students were NOT doing ALL the work. You are exhausted at the end of the day because your work was constant. Giving support, offering an ear, conferring with students is good work. I can’t wait to hear about the celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katlynhbennett says:

    Sometimes these days are more tiring than teaching actual lessons! Managing the chaos and trying to circulate and observe requires so many decisions and fast-acting responses that it is super exhausting. I read somewhere that teachers make more than 4 decisions per minute on an average day- which is a lot of mental work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      So true…all the juggling is exhausting but worth it. I keep remembering the quote: the person learning is the one doing the work. I love watching and supporting the kids DOING the work!


  3. WOWilkinson says:

    All those requests sound familiar. Isn’t crazy how tiring it can be to answer simple questions when there are thousands of them?


  4. Danielle says:

    This sounds much like my classroom’s sounds from yesterday! But mine got increasingly flustered, whereas you keep your calm throughout the day. I would love to be a fly on the wall to see just how you do it.


  5. Fran McCrackin says:

    Such a wonderful atmosphere- we admire you as a teacher for creating it so often! I like how you bookend your piece with the tape. And the “Is this enough?”- we all know that student 🙂 Mostly you give us a glimpse into the variety of your students’ projects and their investment in this social justice work.


  6. wordjourneysite says:

    So exhausting. I agree that these kind of days can sometimes be more work than a “normal” day (as if there was such a thing). Can’t wait to see what your students have come up with!


  7. Catherine Flynn says:

    Thank you for letting us in on the hum of the hard work you and your students are doing! This sounds like an incredible project. I’ll be back to read more about it. BTW, I will be at the Reunion next weekend, but have to leave early. Maybe we can catch up before the keynote.


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