A Day In The Life: Tyelisha Johnson, Great Oaks Legacy Middle School Tutor

img_12846:10 am – My warning alarm goes off. This alarm is solely for the purpose of reminding my body that I have to get up in 10-15 minutes.

6:20 am – My real alarm goes off. If it’s Monday morning, I actually have to get up to ensure I make our weekly 7:15 meeting. But today is Wednesday so I can sleep for another five minutes.

6:25 am – Up and at ’em! I get up and go to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. Now it’s time to get dressed. If all goes well and I get my outfit right on the first try, it’s makeup time!

7:00 am – I do my makeup and unwrap my hair.

7:13 am – Now it’s time to grab my bag, my breakfast, and head out the door with my roommate.

7:18 am –  I am in the school building on my way to the fourth floor. I  say, “ Good morning,” to the teachers, administration, and tutors gathered in the hallway. Then I head to the third floor to drop off my belongings and grab student packets.

7:25 –  I make my way back to the fourth floor and make sure that I am prepared for the day. Depending on the day, this includes printing off documents for tutorial, inputting sixth grade ELA homework, making note cards for my students, responding to emails, grading homework, or working on a tutorial packet for the following week.

8:11 am –  I listen to the announcements read by Mr. Podhurst, the director of the Downtown Middle School (DMS), and begin packing up my things to head to tutorial.

8:15 am –  I enter into room 409 for my first period sixth grade ELA tutorial. The Do Now is called and I began working with my students to complete the packet.

9:12 am- Second Period. Now I am heading to Ms. Brook’s room for in-class support during her sixth grade ELA class. While assisting in class, I am finishing homework input, and entering homework from the late bin. Once I complete that, I cross check the attendance with DeansList (our homework tracker website).

11:12 am – It is now third period and I go to room 409 it’s time for for ELA tutorial with my seventh graders. The Do Now is called and we began working on our packet. The Do Now is a silent five minute portion of tutorial that introduces students to the concept we will be working on that day. The seventh graders are coming from math class so they are typically rowdy and take a moment to settle down.

12:07 pm – The exit ticket has just started. This the last five minute portion of tutorial that allows students to show what they learned that day without the help of their tutor. If the students were able to understand and grasp the concept they worked on today they do fairly well on the exit ticket. If not, it gives the tutor feedback on what their students need to work on. As I await my students exit tickets, I begin packing up my belongings.

12:15 pm – The exit ticket has been called and now it is time for lunch for both the 7th, 8th graders and the tutors. Depending on the day I go out for lunch or bring food from home. If I brought food from home I make my way to the third floor where the tutors typically eat lunch together.

12:45 pm – Lunch is just about over and it is time to prepare for my fifth period 7th grade math tutorial. I head to room 411 to set up my tutorial table and to make sure I have everything ready to go. My students arrive at 12:50 pm and it’s time to begin. My seventh graders can be extremely rowdy after lunch or they can be sluggish and tired. I believe it depends on what they eat for lunch. Either way I have to be prepared for both so that I can motivate my student to do their work no matter what mood they’re in.

1:47 pm – The exit ticket is called. I collect my papers and head to room 409 to transition Team Eagles to 408 for sixth grade math tutorial. Each homeroom is split into four teams for tutorial transitions. These four teams are Great Oaks, Achieve, Legacy, and Eagles. On Wednesdays the sixth graders in Ms. Hossain´s homeroom have P.E. before tutorial so I must make my way to the fifth floor to retrieve my sixth graders from the big hall.

1:50 pm  – Majority of the students have transitioned into the classroom at this point. Ms. Grant our tutorial room leader calls the Do Now and our students began working silently. Every now and then a tutor may have to make classroom reminders for students to stay at a Level 0 (silence). Once the five minutes for the Do Now are up, math tutorial begins.

2:47 pm –  Sixth grade math tutorial is over. Although I only tutor sixth and seventh graders my day is not over. I transition the Rowan students in our room to their math apps class in 506. Each homeroom is named after the college their homeroom teacher attended. Ms. Hossain, one of the sixth grade ELA teachers, attended Rowan and therefore that is the name of her homeroom. The reason for this is to expose our students at Great Oaks Legacy DMS to the names of different colleges and universities.

2:55 pm – After school I have have both the drama enrichment and basketball practice. If it were Tuesday or Thursday we would have Power Up. Power up is an after school program that allows students to receive help with their homework, particularly in subjects they are struggling in.  Since today is Wednesday, my co-enrichment leader will be conducting drama enrichment today, while I go to basketball practice with our girl’s team.  While I wait for dismissal, I usually finish planning the day’s enrichment lesson plan, and I go home to change clothes for practice.

3:40 pm – I arrive back to school just in time for dismissal.

3:47 pm – Since I am part of the dismissal team, I now transition the students that have study hall from room 408 to 410. After that, it is time for practice.  

4:00 pm –  The boys and girls basketball teams are lining up to transition to the bubble, which is our gym. We head over and have practice until 5:30 pm.

5:30 pm – Practice is now over and we transition back to D.M.S. Here we drop the students off and wait for their parents to pick them up.

5:50 pm –  I arrive back at home. Now it is me time! I take about an hour to nap, read, watch TV, or call my family. I have to remember to take time for myself each day so that I don’t become overwhelmed.

7:00 pm – I begin looking over my planned packets for the next day. I make note of any extra notes or documents I need for my tutorials tomorrow. Then I finish grading homework and checking my emails. As the sixth grade ELA teacher’s assistant for Mrs. Brooks, the other sixth grade ELA teacher, I am responsible for grading homework and exit tickets collected at the end of class.

8:00 pm – By this time I’m starving and trying to figure out what dinner will be. I am more than likely not done grading so once I finish eating I will continue to work.

9:00 pm – I am finished grading homework and exit tickets, but my sixth graders will take a math quiz during tutorial to help them prepare for their math or math apps test on Friday. I take the time to make a quiz from the concepts we have focused on this week.

10:00 pm – I should be done with work by now  but not quite ready for bed. I take a shower, grab a snack and maybe indulge in a book or an episode from one of my favorite shows.

11:30 pm – It’s now 11:30 pm and I am pooped! Time for bed. I head to bed and dream away until I hear my alarm the next morning.

Tyelisha Johnson attended Spelman College. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After Great Oaks, she plans to attend graduate school to receive her Masters in Sociology with a focus on Community Redevelopment.


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