RealJobs: Austin Naughton

Austin Naughton’s work day on Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

Hello on Tuesday,

Today was the first day back with students.  I woke-up at 4 to prepare documents related to students’ learning accommodations for distribution to their teachers.  I drove to school today due to rain in the forecast.  I met with my colleague around 6:35 at our office.  She helped me put-together packets after I made copies.  The Assistant Supervisor had a follow-up conversation with us about logistics for our Adult Assistants.

From 8 to 8:29, we had Homeroom.  I collaborated with the other members of the Resource Specialist Program in our office and finalized the seating chart for the Geometry class since the teacher there is new to the course.  Later in the day, I learned that students had been assigned to me for homeroom.  Unfortunately, I was not aware of this, nor had I been given their new semester schedules, so even if I was in my classroom to meet them, I would not have had their schedules.

Period 1:  Algebra course led by a Math teacher.  There is a Bilingual Aide in the class and I am the Special Education teacher in the class.  I helped with attendance given all the paper-work needs that come with the first day of class.

Period 2:  Geometry course led by a Math teacher.  Again, I’m the co-teacher representing the Special Education department.  I helped with the seating chart, attendance, and other paperwork.  One student was especially uncooperative, so I attempted to address his less-than-pleasant attitude in the hallway.  Hopefully, he will be more pleasant tomorrow.

Nutrition break:  About 15 minutes to set up my new-to-me classroom.

Periods 3 and 4:  Language Skills classes to support students with their academic tasks for other classes.  Knowing that most students would not already have work from their other classes, I distributed a questionnaire so that I could learn more about their plans for their post-high-school lives and a template for them to list the grades they think they “earned” for the past semester.  Most students were cooperative and I have a helpful new-to-me Adult Assistant.  We confiscated 1 cell phone and 1 texting gizmo (both from the same student).  In both classes, I gave spiels about the need for the students to wean themselves from their addictions to texting and I-Pods.  Some look at me like I’m a million years old and hopelessly “out of touch.”

Lunch break:  30 minutes to visit an office on another floor, get ready for my next class, and break up a group of students who were misbehaving in the boys’ bathroom.  Fortunately, they did not give me much of a hassle, but it could have been a troublesome situation.

Period 5:  The Transition teacher gave a pep-talk to a group of 12th graders about their lives after high school.  My co-teacher and I are going to spend the semester preparing them for the college and financial aid application processes.  We will also focus on career preparation activities.

Period 6:  My period 5 co-teacher and I de-briefed about our students and classes.  I then went to the dean’s office to share information about the aforementioned challenging situations, including the misbehaving students from earlier in the day.  If you ever want to gain some “interesting” insights into the lives of teenagers, spend a few minutes in the lobby of the dean’s office at a high school.  At the 3:07 dismissal bell, it was fascinating to observe all the different students that rotated through the office to check-in about various matters.

After-school:  I worked in my classroom until about 4:00 and then headed home.  At home, I exchanged email messages with colleagues, a family, and worked on final grades, which are due tomorrow.  One 12th grader is trying to “make a deal” with me so that she can pass our academic support class even though she had too many unexcused absences and earned zeroes on many quizzes.

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