A Day in the Life of Mr. Concialdi

My footsteps echo through the empty hallways. As one of the handful of students in the school at 6:20 a.m., I make my way up to the math and science wing in deafening silence.

Every day, hundreds of students converge upon RMHS from 7:30-8:10 a.m.. They attend each of their classes, in which they will see their teachers for just an hour and a half. It doesn’t occur to most, but these teachers actually exist outside of these ninety minute blocks. 

            For example, Michael Conciadi, who teaches college stats, college algebra and AP stats classes in the math and science wing, is most popular amongst juniors and seniors, specifically for his high-functioning curriculum. This means that because of block scheduling, he only sees his students for a short period of time per week, but does so much more in that time period behind the scenes. Because of this, I decided to take a look at the man behind the curtain, pulling all the strings. I spent an entire day acting as Concialdi’s shadow and gained perspective about a day in the life of a teacher.

I arrived at the school at 6:20 a.m., when the school was still shrouded in darkness with little light streaming through the windows. However, once I had made my way upstairs to the math and science wing, I was greeted by a handful of teachers already at work in their personal workspaces, planning lessons and grading papers of hundreds of students. As time passed, more and more teachers arrived, making jokes about Mondays and sharing stories about their weekends. I was surprised by their alertness; a large majority of the student body was still sound asleep and miles away, and here I was, surrounded by men and women talking animatedly about the most recent Saturday Night Live special. 

Not only were the teachers awake and working, but they were obviously a close-knit group as well. Laughing, joking, sharing stories and generally having a good time despite the time and place. And, at 7:21 a.m., when the teachers receded into a central office, they sang “Happy Birthday” to chemistry teacher Todd Schaap and indulged in a potluck breakfast buffet. The camaraderie and friendship amongst coworkers was tangible and infectious, and even the teachers with the highest stacks of papers had a smile and a slice of coffee cake.

When the first bell rang, I trailed behind Concialdi to his College Statistics class, where I was met with a group of tired, sleepy eyed students. Concialdi talked with them for a few minutes, engaging them in personalized banter about the students’ weekends and lives before assigning a review for the upcoming test. The students worked quietly while Concialdi stood at his desk, helping a line of students with various problems. When the class ended eighty minutes later, he waved them goodbye, and welcomed his seminar class of sophomores.

Once again, Concialdi spoke to his students with friendly familiarity, getting most of the class engaged, smiling and laughing until announcements began. Concialdi then herded his class to getting to work while simultaneously conversing with students who visited from other seminars for help and clarification.

It occurred to me then that I had not seen Mr. Concialdi sit since 7:05 a.m., and it even then, was only for a moment. Now, as seminar ended at 11:10 a.m., he sat down. Not to eat lunch, but to continue working, meticulously grading his way through the mountains of paper before him. Through lunch and a planning period, he jotted down notes and updated grades.

Until finally, eighth block AP Statistics. Yet again, Mr. Concialdi connected with his students in relevant debates about everything from politicians to baseball. His class was a lively one, but they got a surprising amount done, leaving little work left over for homework. For another entire block, Mr. Concialdi did not sit down once until he left the school at 3:30 p.m.. 

Contrary to many students’ belief, teachers have lives outside of assigning homework and updating grades. However, little appreciation is shown for the time and energy spent on the aforementioned activities. Maybe, possibly, a little insight to a day in the life could encourage students to acknowledge the effort that each teacher puts in to helping each student achieve their best every day.