Guest Post: A Day in the Life of a Teacher (Well a Young One Anyway)

Frank McCaughey is the “third year history teacher” I referenced in my letter to the mayor yesterday (also here and here on Gotham Schools, with lots of interesting comments).  I want to thank Frank for allowing me to republish what he wrote last night here.  The original can be found on his blog: The Life and Times of a Newlywed Teacher.
My friend the mayor released a list of potential teacher layoffs in New York City this morning. As I was woke up, trying to will myself out of bed after a week off, I heard the news report and was suddenly even less excited to start my day.

Then I went to work….

…..and taught 60 9th graders in my Civics class how to contact their representative concerning proposed gun control legislation in the House.

Then, I took a look at the aforementioned list provided by the D.O.E. and saw that my school has 5 teachers that could be laid off if the mayor doesn’t get his way. Best part? It was just a number so maybe it’s me but then again maybe it’s not. I spent a small part of the remainder of the day wondering if I was one of the unlucky ones. I didn’t necessarily appreciate the suspense of it all.

Then I taught 30 9th graders English. Well kind of anyway. Midway through the day all of the outlets in my room blew rendering useless the PowerPoint that I was going to project onto my board to teach my mini lesson. Can’t win ’em all…..or apparently ANY of ’em.

Then I came home had dinner with my wife and watched our friend the mayor on the news. I’m not too sure if the mayor thought about me and my fellow teachers today- well maybe he did, after all he made up a nice list!- but I know he didn’t think about my wife, and the grief that his list caused her today.

This is my 3rd year teaching in New York City and my 3rd year of hearing that I might lose my job…it’s kind of like an anniversary. Should I get a gift? What is the 3rd year? Leather? Anyway
throughout these sagas, I always took the position that what will be will be. Whatever happens, I’ll be prepared and besides it can’t be as bad as the end of last year can it? Politics aside (and I do have opinions that I may share in the future), I just want to keep my job. I love teaching, even on the first day back from vacation, when I’m told my job is in jeopardy and the power doesn’t work so I can’t teach my lessons.

Actually, today kind of just sucked but I am ready for tomorrow and the challenges that await with my classes.

Let’s hope I get the same chance next year.

~Frank McCaughey

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