A Day in the Life of a Ninth Grade English Teacher in Albuquerque, ...


June 18

Before earning her doctorate at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Jenna Hagengruber taught at Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She described her teaching daily five classes of English.

Starting the Day

5:45am – Depending on the day, I tend to wake up between 5:45am and 6:00am. During this time, I make lunch, do my hair and makeup, make my bed, make coffee (obviously). Most importantly, I make sure that all my grading is back in my bag and I have all my lessons ready and prepared for the day.   

6:55am – I leave my house between 6:45am and 7:00am (on the days I am running really late…) with the goal of trying to be at school around 6:55am. I live about 9 minutes away from Sandia High School, where I teach. On a good day, when I catch all the timed lights, I can actually make it in 8 minutes! (Impressive, I know.) If I do arrive at 6:55am, I have time to set up my promethean board and change the date on the white board for the students. However, if I don’t leave my house until 7:00am, I usually only get there about 5 minutes before my students arrive. This leaves me trying to prepare a classroom while 14 and 15-year-old students are trying to chat with me. It’s difficult to say the least.

First Class of the Day

7:15am –My classroom is almost full classroom by this time (and the bell hasn’t even rung yet!). During this time, I get the attendance website set up, get the students’ papers ready to pass back, and make sure that I have all my materials ready for the day.  I teach all Freshmen, which means most of my kids are dropped off by their parents earlier. This can be a double-edged sword. I love that they are on time and for the first couple months of teaching, I really enjoyed having them there early because it gave me a chance to get to know them. On the other hand, it’s really difficult to get everything set up in a classroom where there’s a bunch of chatty teenagers who are trying to tell me stories about their lives. It’s juggling at its finest.

7:25am – The day officially begins! Students can be a little cranky…they have to be ready to think and work this early in the morning.       

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