Every year a teacher's job description changes a bit. This is due to countless factors. This year, my job description includes the following:
Reviewing and responding to student learning
Making time to review student work and respond is very important this year because this active group of learners truly look forward to this feedback and the feedback inspires more and better learning. To respond well to student learning takes about six good hours a week--this is lots of time in addition to the typical school day responsibilities, but knowing the importance of this work helps me to make time for it during the week.
For many reasons, it's very helpful for me to stand at the door and greet students this year. When I'm standing there I'm observing students' needs and encouraging students' good start to the day. It's important that I let colleagues know that I have to focus on the students at this time and it is not a time for conversation.
Teaching Routines and Prep
This student group responds to predictable teaching-learning routines. That's why lessons have to be well prepared. Also due to the large number of teachers that teach our team, when I make copies I have to make many more than the number of students so I always have extras on hand. Yesterday, a lack of copies created havoc. Staying about one week ahead with prep is similarly important.
Developing Math and Science Instruction
This is where the professional learning focus lies.
This might seem like a short job description, but each task takes many hours of focused attention and good work. Due to the complexity and depth of the teaching load this year, it's important that I focus my efforts on this shortlist alone. Onward.