Day in the life of a boarding school teacher.

Sorry I forgot to mention this is a part of The Day in the Life series Sam and Tina are hosting. 



6:45 –  I got to wake up late today.  I usually wake up around 6:15 which I know seems late to most of you but my commute is about a 3 minute walk since I live on campus and also, I don’t teach first today.

7:45 – Finally make it out of my house.  I did that in only 3 outfits today.  It’s gloomy and rainy so I am wearing a gold sparkly sweater and bold lipstick.  Sometimes I am fancy just to perk my self up.  I walk up to school and to the dining hall. If you arrive at the dining hall just before 8 am you should expect it to be crazy.  Lots of our girls wake up minutes before class starts and dash across campus picking up a pastry or bagel to eat on the way.  I eat breakfast with some colleagues and discuss today.

8:10 – I have to stop by student services and drop off some receipts.  I bought a bunch of stuff this weekend for out Student Council’s Week of Fun.

8:15 – Finally in my office.  First period runs from 8-8:50 so I have a little time.  Oh wait.  I have someone coming to my office to get help hooking up printers.  Okay, that’s done.   I return emails.

8:45 – Rush over to morning reports to stick the giftcards under random seats for school council’s week of fun.

8:50- Morning reports.  I help with the tech because I like it. Our 12th grade acapella group sings which is fabulous. I have to remember to email the girls I know and tell them how great they are.  I don’t know a ton of 12th graders but one of the singers is the tech girl for the theater so I know her.

9:10- Algebra 1 course meeting.  We plan out the rest of the semester (4 weeks!!) then discuss our students.  My teaching partner for this course is hyper organized and I am so happy to have her.

9:40- back in my office I have a student meeting in twenty.  I prep for my next (/first of the day) class a little more just to make sure I am ready.  I also prep for the one after lunch because I have a lunch meeting.  ::deep breath:: I spend 5 minutes updating this then… “knock, knock”

10:00- meeting with a freshman.  This for me was just a basic check in and schedule so extra help meeting. Apparently she’s had a rough morning because there are a lot of tears.  We talk down the tears and then do a bit of planning.  She then sits in my office and works on physics.  Other students come in eat candy and play with the rubix cube.  I talk over a proof I have been working on with one of them. She immediately comes up with an example but we can’t think of how to solve it. Crap. Bell.

10:30- Teach my first class of the day.  This is Functions class.  It is our class between Geometry and Algebra 2 for students who need that.  I have 16 students which is a larger class in my school.  We do the daily Set puzzle online and then review for the solving for zeroes quiz tomorrow.  These girls are funny and talk to each other and me most of the period.

11:20- Lunch, it’s Tuesday so I have school council during lunch.  I grab a plate or food from the dining hall and dash over to our meeting.  We are having “Mini Forums” tonights so we discuss those.  Then we talk about Friday’s morning reports where we are giving away cookies.

12:10 – meeting done, I take my plate back to the dining hall and dash over to teach my second class, Alg 2. Class goes well, lots of review for a partner quiz on Thusday.

1:05- class is done off to an academic tech.  We get through a bunch of stuff and discuss whether a student issue is a technology issue or a community issue.

2:00- back to my office for 30 minutes.  A little bit more prep but about 5 minutes in to that 7 girls storm my office.  Talk ranges from classes to running to candy.

2:30 – Last class of the day.  This is Alg 1.  I like to call them my baby freshman.  They are well behaved expected for the one who thinks the right idea is to waves at her friend across the hall.

3:20 – School’s out!!! Two ten minute convos with teachers/advisors about their advissees in my classes.

3:45 – Ah crap, I forgot my cell phone in my office.  Back to talk to my academic tech friend then office then home.

4:40- Home.  I have an hour 20 til I have to be back.

4:45- Get my life together and go for a run.  This is the third time since the start of school.  Dude.  Ran like maybe two miles then limped back home.

5:30- shower, get dressed (3 outfits, again)

6:00 – walk back up to school for dinner.  Hooray, mac and cheese!  I also have delicious ice cream for dessert.

6:30- The mini forums are now.  So basically school council got members of our admin team to come together with students and discuss topics that are on our students’ minds.  I am in a group on finance and tuition, the admins are our CFO and an admissions lady. No students show up except our school council girls.  We ask questions til 7 and then let the people go.  Turns out no students showed up to any of them. Well not true, like two or three students did but that’s it.

7:00 – I am on my way up to dorm duty.  I see an only advisee from last year and she wants to show me her room.  She is a student leader on her hall this year and therefore has a HUGE room.  It’s pretty.

7:15- I make it to the hall that I am a affiliate on and talk to some girls.  I listen to some problems, fix a computer, and then study hall starts.

7:30- Study Hall.  I sit in the alcove and help girls with homework.  Most teachers get this time to do work but not math teachers. I have from 7:30-9:30 about 20 girls.  Some stay the whole time and others bop in and then leave.

9:30 – most girls leave. All are allowed to wander during this time.  I spend most of the time typing this up and chatting with two girls on the hall.  Two of us bond over a deep love of V.Mars.  Also discussed: Parenthood (tv show), Grey’s, general teen love problems and life.

9:55 – Help a student figure out how to design a t-shirt online.

10:00- Start check in.  I walk through the hall and talk to all the girls one on one.  I hear lots about thanksgiving and all their plans.  Tonight’s silly check in question, “If you could have anyone’s closet at school who would you have?” Silliness ensues.

11:15 -check out with house parent and get home.

11:35- finish updating this and pass out hard.

17 hours. Welcome to my Tuesday.


6 thoughts on “Day in the life of a boarding school teacher.

  1. High Cost of “free” faculty housing at boarding schools
    Boarding School Central VA endowment $120 million – D.C. Day School Endowment $60 million

    Boarding School faculty salary: Masters degree + 30 years experience: $60,000
    D.C. Day School faculty salary: Masters degree + 30 years experience: $85,000

    Boarding School work week: 7 days + evenings + holidays (Labor day, Presidents day, etc)
    D.C. Day School work week: 5 days + 1 faculty meeting evening per month

    Boarding School mandatory non-teaching activities: No stipend & No over time pay
    D.C. Day School: stipend for non-mandatory non-teaching activities

    Boarding School Health Insurance: $500 Deductible, 30/70 co-insurance split, teacher pays premiums for dependants
    D.C. Day School: Full coverage for Teacher and Family

    Boarding School Dental: Premiums paid by Teacher
    D.C. Day School: Premiums paid by school

    Boarding School Legal Insurance: None
    D.C. Day School Legal Insurance: Optional, Teacher contributes $20.00 per month

    Boarding School Meals: “Free” to employee and family – typical teenage meals – no allowances for food allergies except nuts
    D.C. Day School Meals: Hot lunch catered by Marriott corporation – free to employees and family guest


  2. Blogs are useful, not only as a teacher-student and student-student interactive tool, but they also further develop students’ skills in their interactions outside of the classroom framework. Students graduating today need to have a high degree of skills in this domain in order to be effective after high school. Presenting this as an opportunity to some students who may not have the time or resources to otherwise use this type of communication is an asset that we can provide as educators.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s