Ginny Switt

A Day in my Life

6:00-7:00 AM: I wake up, and immediately jump in the shower for a wake-up boost. I check my email, and mentally go over the schedule for the day. I check that Alex has everything he needs for school, and check that my husband remembers everything he needs. I also pack my lunch and make sure that Alex has packed his lunch.

7:00-7:30 AM: Drive to Oak Hall School (usually a stop to Publix or Walgreens on the way for needed supplies).

7:30-8:00 AM: Get Alex to middle school. Straighten up my classroom and make sure all supplies are out and ready for experiments. Make photocopies of handouts. Talk with parents who may have questions about field trips or what is going on in class.

8:00-8:30 AM: Monitor the 4th and 5th grade locker area. Make sure that students are not sitting on their iPads, or spending an extraordinary amount of time brushing hair in their locker mirrors.

8:30-9:00 AM: Often have a preschool or junior kindergarten class in my room for my first class. This is where I can get on the floor with the kids, and we can do lots of experiments. Things can explode, bubble, change color, and make noise. I love watching their eyes when they learn something new.

9:00-10:00 AM: This is my time to plan fun lessons for the next week, as well as plan field trips for the Lower School Science classes. Each year I coordinate approximately 18 field trips. My lesson plans follow the National Science Standards, but involve a lot more hands on activities than you would normally find in a science classroom!

10:00-11:00 AM: My first group of older students come in. We are often working on a project that may involve baking soda, paint, or clay. I start off the day covered in some substance, and just add to that as the day goes.

11:00-12:00 PM: Another hands-on science class exploring science and conducting experiments. We may be using the steps of STEM in order to improve upon inventions in my room (ASK, IMAGINE, PLAN, CREATE, IMPROVE). Students love using these skills to build a stronger bridge, or create a better habitat for animals.

12:00-12:30 PM: Lunch time…I usually have students trickle in and out to show me a rock that they found on the playground, or a dead insect to add to my collection. I coordinate with our marketing director to have pictures taken for our webpage.

12:30-3:00 PM: More science classes. I am setting up and cleaning up in between each class. Even when I teach the same lesson more than once, I want to ensure that I am coming to it with a fresh perspective and that students are swept up with my enthusiasm. Our school is full this year (many classes have a wait list), and I want to make sure that I meet the needs of each and every student that comes into my classroom.

3:00-3:30 PM: This marks the end of my teaching day as this is dismissal time. During this time, I help get students to the right place, sometimes running in a lot of circles. Also, my classroom becomes the place where students and their parents can do quiet homework/study time.

3:30-5:30 PM: This is shuttling time for Alex to after school activities, including lacrosse, math club, and robotics. Sometimes he has a class right after school, which is a lot easier. When lacrosse season starts, practice does not start until later. I have to make sure his homework is done, and get him a high protein snack. On lacrosse days we are at school until 7:30pm. Alex also gets weekly allergy shots to battle strong seasonal allergies.

5:30-6:30 PM: On non-sports evenings, this is the time where I prepare dinner, clean the house, and help Alex with anything that he needs (and on ambitious evenings, I try to run a load of laundry).

6:30-7:00 PM: Dinnertime. We try to sit down and have dinner together (and I do try to encourage no electronics at the table, though I often lose that argument). We use this time to touch base about the day.

7:00-9:00 PM: Once we have eaten, often we will have family time and all play a game together. Sometimes my husband and son will work on a robotics project together. My son will cuddle with me in bed and we will watch funny animal videos on You Tube, or we may examine his rock or insect collections.

9:00-10:00 PM: After my son is in bed, I can use that time to unwind, think about what I need for the next day, and check my email. Sometimes a last-minute trip to Publix or Walgreens before they close. I go to bed early because I like my eight hours of sleep every night before I have to wake up and start all over!

10:30 PM: I pop up out of bed and remember something that needs to be done for the next day, usually for my classroom.