My Part-Time Job

03/07/2011 07:15 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I got to school this morning at 6:45 to run off some work sheets and exams and confer with a colleague whose schedule does not coincide with mine. I had to make sure I had all early business taken care of before 7:30, the beginning of my work day and four straight classes. No time for a bathroom break, a cup of coffee or even a short "sit" until 10:45 when fourth period ended.

As soon as the bell rang, I made a dart for the office to pick up exams that had to be delivered to resource room for kids who have extended time. I ended up staying 10 minutes in the resource room helping a few kids with some math problems. On the way I stopped to talk to two guidance counselors and an assistant principal.

I did manage to take a quick bathroom break before I was approached by a student who had been absent and needed some extra help. I spent the rest of the period sitting on the floor in the hallway outside the café, eating lunch and helping him. (We sit on the floor because there is no other space in the building to work.)

When fifth period ended, he left and I went into the teachers' room to call a few parents. The computer I needed to look up numbers and record the results of the calls I made is not near the phone so I spent quite a bit of time running back and forth. But hey, teachers have to learn to adjust to shared facilities. Administrators know how tough things are as they used to be teachers too. (They never stop reminding us how good we have it now.) I also managed to mark a few test papers before another student stopped by for help.

Seventh period found me teaching again. I have a huge bag of calculators I lug from room to room because my algebra gems don't bring their own. Good thing teachers have good medical coverage because with what I carry, my back needs extra care.

Eighth period had me covering an English class where I ended up helping many of the students with their math homework. Two girls were disappointed that I didn't remember enough chemistry to help them with that.

Ninth period had me teaching again.

My official day ended at 2:50 p.m. but that doesn't mean I can go straight home. Calculators have to be locked up, several phone calls have to be made and my supervisor wanted to speak to me about a few things. As I was about to put my coat on, my favorite calculus student showed up with a few questions he wanted answered.

It was finally 4:00 and I was leaving the building. The politicians might think all teachers now head for Loehmann's but not me. I head straight home. Teachers do have lives outside of school and we like clean houses and food on the table. I confess I did something bad too. I took a 30 minute nap, called my dad and went out to eat with my husband.

At 6:00, I hit the shower (another luxury teachers get to indulge in) and then the books. I wrote an exam, marked and recorded grades on three sets of exams and finally straightened out two of the book bags I carry daily. (There is no place to leave anything at school.) I also found lesson plans that I promised to lend to a new teacher and wrote two college recommendations.

It is now 11:50 p.m. and I am finally done for the night. I'm heading up to bed, thinking of what I have to do in the morning and how I look forward to resting on the weekend except the marking period has just ended and I will have more tests to mark and grades to enter. I also have a group of kids meeting me on Saturday for some extra help they can't get during the week.

Good thing my job is only a part-time one. I'm lucky to have a part-time job, a job that allows me so some much time to fritter away.