A Teacher's Day

Explore a typical "virtual" teacher's day at DC Prep!

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all DC Prep campuses are virtual for the first quarter of SY20-21. These schedules are an example of how our teachers structure their days as they work to provide a high-quality academic and social-emotional education to our over 2,100 students. 

We’ve designed our virtual learning program to ensure that students will be known as individuals. Each child is part of a “pod” of 12-14 other students. Their “pod teacher” builds a deep understanding of those children as learners and people, and communicates frequently with children’s families. Students are “in class” with their pod for much of the day, enabling them to build strong relationships. 

General Schedule
Time Component Description

7:15am

Prepare for the day

Good morning! I like to start my day focused on my own well-being because when I am feeling my best, I can be my best for my students. I start with a quick workout and a healthy smoothie! I then get caught up on any email or phone communication from my leaders or teammates and review my schedule for the day ahead. Last, I make sure that my remote teaching space is set up for instruction. We want to make sure all our Preppies are logging in and engaged, so I’ll make sure to track that throughout lessons today.

8:30am - 9:10am

Community Time

I begin by facilitating “community time” with my pod, a group of 12 Preppies that I am responsible for knowing deeply as a person and as a student. Depending on the day, this time could be used for Circles, a social-emotional learning lesson, a mindfulness activity, or a greeting and sharing discussion. Today, I’m leading a Circle based on our social-emotional Prep Work where students can share what they love about school and what is hard for them right now. This is a great opportunity for students to understand the variability of all learners in our classroom, learn how to leverage each other’s strengths, and how to support growth areas with their fellow students.

9:15am - 10:10am

Math Tier 1 Instruction: Pod A

I hop onto a Google Meet video a few minutes early to get the technology set up before leading my first 55- minute math lesson with the 13 students of Pod A, a diverse group of academic learners. Today, we are focused on multiplying whole numbers using visual representations. I have created an interactive presentation using the Nearpod platform to be able to show helpful models of the skill for students. I remind students that they will have an Exit Ticket assignment to submit on Google Classroom on Friday.

10:15am - 11:10am

Math Tier 1 Instruction: Pod B

Time for the lesson with Pod B! I check to make sure the technology is still working and get everyone pumped up to start this lesson. Each student has an individualized learning plan, which I keep in mind as we’re going through our lessons and planning for each day.

11:15am - 12:10pm

Math Tier 1 Instruction: Pod C

Pod C is ready to learn! I use the interactive presentation to show models to the students, keeping in mind questions that I have received from the other pods this morning, so that I know how to address them as the lesson goes along. We also make sure students have time to engage with each other, provide feedback, and help each other grow during these lessons.

12:10pm - 2:30pm

Lunch, Planning, & Preparations

I take this time to recharge and step away from the screen for a bit. I spend some time planning for my virtual instruction, as well as looking at academic and wellness data for my students. I think about any adjustments needed for groups to provide more targeted support. I make a quick call to my “pod partner” to check in on how the day is going and share any student support updates so that we’re set up for a successful afternoon.

2:30pm - 4:00pm

Math Small Groups

During this time, I lead 3 flexible small group math interventions, each 30 minutes in length. I use these intervention sessions to meet with a group of students who have specific math goals. Today, we’re spending some time practicing fact fluency together. Sometimes, we end our session by playing a fun online activity together called “Reflex” that really engages the group with their fast facts. It’s important to find ways to promote fun classroom engagement, especially in the afternoon!


On Wednesdays, DC Prep teachers participate in staff professional development, individual, and group meetings, so there is no live instruction. Teachers prepare materials for students to use during their virtual learning sessions.

Wednesday Schedule
Time Component Description

 

Math Tier 1 Instruction: Asynchronous Lesson

I have prepared a lesson for my students to view and work on independently today. The focus of the lesson builds on the math objective of the live instruction from the day before.

8:30am - 9:10am

Community Time

On Wednesdays, I start the day by leading a morning pod meeting in a 40-minute mini circle with my pod. I take time to remind them what’s on deck for the day since it’s different - Wednesdays are a mix of asynchronous learning, independent reading, and work on applications that reinforce ELA and Math concepts.

9:15am - 10:40am

Whole Staff PD

After mini-circle, I hop on to a virtual campus team huddle on Google Meet. We receive any campus-level updates and connect with each other. It’s a great time to share feedback, ask questions, and celebrate team members with shout-outs. I love this time to maintain our strong campus community even if we can’t be in our building together! Today, we are preparing for conversations around “Individual Learning Profiles” for our Preppies. These are developed with each Preppie and his or her family as we work to assess areas of growth, goals, and how to best support their needs, especially in a virtual environment.

10:45am - 12:00pm

Pod Talk

Each DC Prep teacher serves as a “pod teacher”, and we want to make sure all our students are supported throughout the day. One way we accomplish this is “pod talks”, where we gather to assess and prep progress so far, and what else we can do. My grade level team is meeting today to review attendance data and reflect and refine our team’s practices to increase student attendance and engagement across the week. This time is devoted to looking at any emerging needs that we want to collect more data on to problem solve over the next week.

12:00pm - 12:30pm

Lunch

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Department Meeting

After lunch, I participate in professional development with the math department team to “deep dive” into math standards and data. I also connect with my grade level math team to collaborate and plan together by looking at our objectives for the upcoming week. I make sure we are up to speed and normed on our assessment trackers, family communication, and academic goals. It’s important for the math team to be aligned and consistent, and we always have a fun time catching up each week!

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Coaching

Today, I have my bi-weekly meeting with my instructional coach to check in on how things are going, both personally and professionally. I bring any questions or feedback to reflect on and process together, especially as I’m navigating all these new technology platforms. My coach observed my first virtual lesson earlier this week and shared some “glows and grows”. We are going to practice some of the things I’ve been working on, specifically finding more opportunities for my students to drive the conversations during lessons. I really appreciate this space and the regular coaching because my coach and I can co-analyze and co-create my next steps based on student data and my professional development needs.

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Planning time

Each week during our PD schedule, we have some independent work time scheduled into the day, which is really helpful. During this time, I can do some lesson planning, grading, record asynchronous lessons for the next week, or update student attendance and family communication trackers. There are also some optional sessions staff members can participate in, including organization system training, wellness training, and prep work for Circles community time.

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Wellness Check-Ins

I use some time today to connect with families and conduct wellness check-ins through calls and video conferences for my assigned pod. This time to check in with families is so important to continue to build relationships and support our Preppies! My families look forward to this time because it is helpful to have one person who can share information about their child’s growth across both academics and social-emotional learning.

 

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What Parents are Saying

“I love how everyone knows everyone by name. I love how the parents that do come together always show up and always show out. And, more importantly, I love how faculty are so dedicated to provide the greatest learning experience possible for our children. We aren't just mothers, fathers, grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles, teachers, students, nurses, and friends – we are a family.”
Brittani White, Parent