Tackling Teaching

Teacher Day in the Life



Elementary Teacher Abigail Billotte

Lucy Billotte, Staff Writer

Fourth grade teacher Abigail Billotte describes her daily agenda. Abigail has been teaching at the Clearfield Area Elementary School for nine years. She began her career teaching different grade levels each year. In the beginning, she was a sixth-grade teacher, but after establishing herself within the school, Abigail quickly realized that fourth was the grade for her.

Each day requires much preparation and planning. Abigail describes how she plans weeks ahead, but still needs preparation for the morning of. Since those are two things that she can control, any unintentional interruptions or events can be managed fluently. To demonstrate, Abigail further explains, “Much of teaching is behind the scenes. You visualize how you want your students to behave, what you want them to learn, and what structures you design to create a healthy, productive environment. It’s after all this forethought that you begin the daily grind.”

Abigail completes various tasks before students arrive. She writes a morning message to put on the board for the class to read, so they know what to do and what they need for the day. In continuation, Abigail says, “I set out all my copies and open my teacher materials and lessons to the correct pages. Next, I check my mailbox, my email, and my voicemails to make a task list for the day.” Around the time of completion, students start to arrive.

When the class is present, Abigail monitors their adherence to the morning routines while taking attendance. She believes that time management and routines are key. Abigail expresses how it is her job to reteach procedures if they become forgotten and to stay on schedule for lessons in and outside of the room. There is a great amount of repetition as an elementary teacher.

Throughout the day, a vast number of students are coming and going for academic, musical, or behavioral skills. Abigail is accountable for helping students understand their responsibilities and for them to complete the work that needs made up. Record keeping is another important duty required as an elementary teacher. Abigail keeps records on students who are struggling and excelling. To demonstrate, Abigail states, “My small group lessons are designed around what needs retaught or practiced.” Record keeping is very important for communicating with students, colleagues, and parents, as well.

By day’s end, Abigail is “rechecking dismissal changes, emails, and making notes in student folders for parent contacts. When you factor in grading, there is a plethora of paperwork involved in teaching. I make sure I am consistently purging, filing, and/or returning papers.”

Overall, teaching an elementary grade level is not easy. However, Abigail loves to act as a comfort to students and cares greatly about building relationships with them. She wears many “hats” in the social realm of her job with much pride. Although the occupation is demanding, she is a wonderful fourth grade teacher, and many students that have had her highly admire her character.