Day in the Life…(round 2)


4:00 am – A vibration on my wrist surprises me awake. I just received a new watch (thanks to the awesome teacher who brought it back from the States for me!) and was wondering how the alarm would function. No more ding ding ding – just a little wrist vibration.

4:00:32 – Pooch is already nosing at me. She wants to head down and go outside. Alright, let’s get the day going.

4:05 – begin planning for my science class today. A new unit on the changing surface of the Earth is starting. Check out cool Google Timelapse imagery. How does the Earth’s surface change over time? What are quick, abrupt changes? What changes take a long time? What are constructive processes? Destructive process? What will the students already know when they walk in today?

4:23 – It’s cold. Down to the basement to see the ever present error on the boiler. Recharge the system so that the heat will turn back on.

5:00 Check school email – response from a parent. OK

5:05 – Hop onto twitter to check out the current NCTM Principle’s to Action slow chat. Add a tweet, check out a link. Anything else out there on #MTBOS / NGSS?

5:15 Get the coffee brewing, prepare snacks for the girls, get lunch packed for me & the wife

5:30 Wake up time for my sweetie and one of the best parts of the day. A half hour of just sitting and chatting with a cup of coffee.

– Is that a little girl upstairs?  “Doggie! Doggie!” she cries out. I run upstairs, and manage to get Thing 2 back down to sleep. Whew

6:00 Race up stairs and grab some clothes for the day. Get on running clothes and warm outwear.  Put school bag and lunch in the tuk tuk. Start running to school. Wow! It’s freezing this morning. I think my beard is collecting icicles and it’s a short run. Running in the dark in China is a bit crazy. Some scooters have lights. Others do not. Most are electric – silent death. The silhouette tuk tuk – no lights but is back light by traffic in the next lane over. I dodge a food cart vendor moving along without lights. What is he doing up so early?

tuk tuk

Our stylish tuk tuk – spray painted by a student

6:25 Changed and jumping in to the school pool. Yay! The water temperature is up! Thanks to the great teacher who puts up a workout for the bunch of crazies who show up in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays to swim.

7:00 Out of the pool. Shower. Wow! Someone should check out the boiler here. Is there an error message? The water is freezing.

7:10 Meet my sweetie – it’s awesome that she also works at my school – who just rolls in on the tuk tuk. Get school bag with breakfast and clothes. Change. Eat. Get ready for the day.

8:05 Quickly head over to the PreK-3 classroom to say good morning to the girls. It’s a calmer morning when they sleep in but I hate not seeing them before I leave home.

8:15 Mentoring kicks the day off (Homeroom). “Hey, Mr. Frank your beard looks extra furry,” says a student who missed the first day back. Locker clean-out: we’re trying to start the semester on a new note. Out with the smells!

8:30 Science class & seeking previous understanding. Individual sketch time. Table talk. Collaborative class sketch. Questions. Online exploration. Exit Note – making a strong commitment to do these each class. The window into student minds is revealing.

10:00 Break time

10:15 – 10:45 Observe another teacher’s math class.

10:45 – 11:30 Emails & Team Leader business – set up quarterly assembly and awards. Respond to student issue.

11:30 – 12:25 Math Lab – hmmm. First day of class and no students. Maybe this will change as the quarter progresses. Spent the time working on math rubrics.

12:15 – 12:45 Lunch duty

12:45 – 1:05 Lunch

1:10 – 2:00 Math team meeting

2 – 3:20 Science class #2 – Same lesson though the last class felt a bit lackluster and there was too much time with the web exploration. I added in a table group whiteboard session. Students made individual models and then the table group combined for a model. After a period of time, students got up and visited other whiteboards for take-aways and critiques.

3:20 – 3:30 School paperwork

3:30 – 4:30 Plan for tomorrow / Awesome interruption. A colleague wandered in to talk about collaborating on a stream-table activity.

4:30 Pile into the tuk tuk for the trip home. Sounds of joy reach me as we enter the house. The girls are splashing around in the bath having a great time. I cook as they finish and do art, jump around, fight, sing and tell us about the day. We eat. Great recipe for corn bread if you like it…

Sweet Corn Bread

Recipe from Thrive

Makes 1 – 9×13 pan


  • 4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 85g butter, melted
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and melted butter and stir.
  3. Mix in cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt – stirring to incorporate, but do not over mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold them into the batter.
  5. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked through.


7:30 Off to bed for the girls. A book is attempted though melt down happens. Aah, getting back into the swing of school after vacation is so tiring.

8:00 Walk the pooch – still freezing!

8:15 Wind down the evening. It’s going to be an early one tonight.

~Note: In November of 2012, I participated in a MTBoS writing task of describe a Day in the Life. I did not read it prior to writing this post as I wanted to see how different life is today. The girls were just a year and under a year. It seemed crazy then as well. Maybe it will settle down one day…


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