I’m back with another A Day In The Life Of… It’s a chance for other bloggers to share what a typical day looks like for them. I’m proper nosey and I love to see what people get up to in their day. It’s also a great chance for you to find some more blogs that you might like to follow.
I’ve done a Day in the Life for one of my work days. I work 3 days a week as an English teacher in a 11-18 Secondary School in the North of England, juggle two children in different childcare settings and a blog. My days are long, very busy and I absolutely rely on routines and being super-organised to make sure I get it all done.
05.30 – Samuel wakes up. He is an early riser. My husband and I alternate getting up with him. If it’s my turn, I’ll take him downstairs, change his nappy, give him his milk and he’ll watch a bit of TV while I drink coffee and wake up. I’ll get him dressed pretty much straightaway.
06.15 – Breakfast time for Samuel. I empty the dishwasher and get a load of washing on. Ben comes downstairs around 6.30am and has a drink of milk. He is a bit slow to get going in the morning so by this time Samuel is ready to play and Ben is not quite awake so I keep them a bit separate for a while.
07.00 – Tim comes downstairs, dressed for the day. He’ll help Ben get into his uniform if I haven’t done it and grab some breakfast while I get a shower and get ready for the day.
07.25 – I leave with Samuel and head to nursery. I drop Samuel at nursery as early as I can and he’ll normally have a second breakfast there. Samuel does still cry when I drop him off but he’s always easily distracted by the promise of Rice Krispies.
I really value the mental space of my commute. It’s pretty much the only point in my day when I’m alone. I love listening to podcasts – Soulful PR, Not another mummy blog and Hashtag Authentic are my current favourites – and it’s my thinking time. I actually really miss the commute in the school holidays!
08.00 – I arrive at work. As soon as I get in, I’ll have things to sort out for the day, emails to respond to, members of my team who want me to look over things etc. I always try to say hello to my head of department and grab a coffee before the day starts properly. On a Monday I teach in lots of different classrooms so I need to take my books and resources to each classroom.
08.35 – Meeting – Either a department meeting or a staff briefing.
08.45 – Student registration. I have a Year 13 form who are lovely. They are currently all writing their UCAS applications which brings back some memories!
09.05 – Lesson 1 starts. I usually have Year 10 or 11 first thing. I’m teaching them Blood Brothers which they really enjoy, so it’s normally a really positive start to my teaching day.
11.05 – Break time. I’m desperate for a coffee by this time, but often have duty or students to see.
11.15-13.15 – Teaching, often Year 12 or Key Stage 3 classes. The younger classes always demand a lot more in terms of energy and planning, but the older classes give me more marking, so it’s good to have the variety. If I have a free period (we’re entitled to 10% planning time), I’ll try to use it wisely, usually by planning. It takes me about 30 minutes to plan a lesson and about 3 hours to mark a class set of essays, so I’ll never get all my work done in school.
13.15 – Lunchtime. We usually meet in our Head of Department’s room for lunch. There is a staff room but it’s at the opposite end of the school, and by the time you’ve set up for the afternoon, there’s not much time left! I always bring lunch with me as we can’t leave the building, and the school cafeteria is too busy.
14.50 – School technically ends for the students. Most students stay on to do some form of Enrichment, booster classes or sport. On Mondays, we have staff meetings and I run a booster class on Tuesday, which means Friday is the only day I have free to do some work after school.
16.00 – Leave school and drive to pick up Ben. He does breakfast club and after school club on my work days. He’s usually happy playing when I arrive (around 4.30pm) but he’s always keen to come home.
16.45 – Pick up Samuel.
17.00 – Get home. Both boys tend to have a bit of screen time while I get dinner ready, sort out school and nursery bags, bring in my piles of marking and generally recover.
17.30 – Dinner. On a work day, it’s usually something simple, like a stir fry, fish cakes, sausages etc. Tim comes home any time between 5.30pm and 6pm and usually joins us. I’m a huge advocate of meal planning, and I try to plan fast, easy dishes for my work nights.
18.15 – I bath Samuel and put him to bed. On a nursery day he’s really tired as he doesn’t nap so well there. Tim hears Ben read and plays with Ben.
19.00 – Samuel’s asleep so it’s Ben’s bedtime. If I have a lot of work on, Tim will do Ben’s bedtime, but he plays tennis twice a week 6pm-8pm so I’m on my own on those nights. It’s not particularly stressful as we keep to the same routine each night, but it does sometimes feel like there’s a lot to do.
19.30 – I clear up from dinner, put the dishwasher on, sort out the clothes from the washing machine and tidy round. Then I start work. I’ll either be planning lessons, adapting existing lessons to accommodate the needs of the students I’m teaching or marking work. I can’t always work in the evenings: on Tuesdays, our church group meets at our home, and on Thursdays I go to Pilates. But the truth is, there is always so much to do that, even though I’m part-time, I always work on my days off and often work at the weekends. Twice a week, I’ll do a load of ironing which takes about an hour each time and I’ll catch up on TV or YouTubers while I’m doing it.
22.00 – I try to stop work by 10pm. Some times it’s earlier, some times it’s later. At this point in the year (late September), it’s really full on: you’re getting to know your classes, you want to get to a really strong start while establishing routines etc. It does get easier later in the year, and lesson planning becomes faster once you know the needs of your class.
Occasionally, I’ll be able to get my school work done by 9pm, and if Tim’s watching the football (Liverpool Football Club takes priority in our house, but he’ll watch pretty much any sport), I’ll fit in a bit of blog work, but often, I’m just too tired by that stage. I keep telling myself that when Samuel sleeps later, I’ll get up at 5am and do my blogging then but it’s not happening yet!
My days off are completely different: there’s no nursery for Samuel, no before or after school clubs for Ben and our whole pace is much slower. Sometimes it feels like everyone is much happier! But I do really enjoy my work: I love my subject, and I really enjoy working with teenagers. I feel like part-time work is a good balance at the moment. I enjoy my days in work and I enjoy my days off.
I do find that having really specific routines helps me to stay on top of the housework and to be a bit strict about how much I let work take over. I have a whole section on my blog about establishing effective daily, weekly and monthly routines, and I’d recommend them to anyone who finds their mornings a bit chaotic.