I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Dang! How long is a typical day’s commute, and how long was today’s??? It’s a little hard to tell the scale from the satellite photo.

  2. Work shoes? I’m confused…. what shoes were you wearing?

    I’ve got a 20 minute each way as well. I won’t go back after I’ve been on the road for five minutes… unless I’ve left my school laptop at home, which I’ve done before.

  3. @Sam, easy. Just wasted half of my two-hour prep period was all.

    @Gina, gym shoes. I hit the gym halfway through. Yeah, couldn’t really figure a good explanation for that into the infograph.

  4. Thanks for the reminder that the benefit of teacher housing is that if I forget something it’s a 10-minute round trip. I think some days I subconsciously intentionally forget things because I’m not ready to face the day.

    Yay morning preps. Though mine’s only an hour. And, Jackie, my only other break is a rushed lunch.

  5. @Jackie, yeah, if you count lunch. Two hours prep, two days a week. Tuesday and Thursday are kinda like getting whacked in the face for seven straight hours straight. Wednesday and Friday are awesome, though.

  6. Am I the only person who goes to a school where people with first period preps get abused to do no notice coverages (aka substitute duty) on a regular basis?

    Last year I had 70 coverages. And when I mentioned that it might be a bit much, I was told that I should appreciate the extra pay. Hrmph.

  7. I had a similar morning during week two. Drove the entire 20 minute commute, opened up the trunk and discovered I had forgotten my projector. But unlike you I had no 2 hour prep that morning. The day consisted of much improvisation and going old school w/ the whiteboard and overhead projector. The whole time, I thought to myself: “how do teachers still teach like this on the daily?”

  8. I actually have two extra powercords to my computer, one at home and one at work. This way its not the end of the world when (when, not if) I forget to bring it…

  9. Mr. K — We didn’t get called to sub as much last year (had an huge number of aides who were constantly pulled), but they’re doing it this year. It doesn’t matter what prep though. And, usually, you split the period with another teacher.

    Why do people always assume that giving teachers a little bit more money will make up for additional work?

  10. @Sarah, as an administrator, I have had situations where a sub does not pick up an assignment or whatever. If I have to pull a certified TA or teacher who has prep at the start of the day, I do not do so with the mind set that a little but more money will make up for additional work. I am curious what better alternative I have when the students are present, the teacher is absent and there is no substitute?

  11. Wow. I am now very thankful that I have a 7 minute commute with only 4.4 miles.

    I barely remember having a long commute (but I have had as long as a 45 minute commute in the past.) I feel for you, Dan, but I don’t feel the pain any more.

  12. @Jackie, and sometimes I do. The biggest problem is that there is only one of me and sometimes more than one missing sub. :(

  13. Jason B, pulling occasionally is understandable, like when the teacher I’m filling in for has been sick for weeks and is finally taking time off to visit the doctor. Pulling often (like Mr. K being pulled ~1/3 of the year), not so cool. If it’s that big of a problem, then yeah, you need a better solution. Is there a way we could find more substitute teachers?

    FWIW my comment is fueled by more than the occasional subbing (which we don’t get paid for at my school–it’s just part of the deal). And I tried not to blame admin as much as the world at large for the attitude.

    *Shrug* Adding more and more to my plate isn’t going to produce quality work no matter how much you pay. It’s not everyone’s mindset, but it’s far too common. And it’s what I heard Mr. K is dealing with.

    Sorry for hijacking the comments again. I’m done with this one.

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  15. Forgetting things at home or at work is always irritating. I try my damndest not to have to go back after anything, since I mostly ride my bike to work – some 11,6 km (about 7 miles) one way – I don’t want to turn back halvway. So far so good…

  16. Whoa. Srsly? Couldn’t just wear the gym shoes and explain that it was that or more gas/electricity/whatever you use to get to work? Unless you ride your bike. In which case you’re probably facing a whole ‘nother set of challenges.

    I used to keep my girl shoes (my term for work shoes) under my desk at work, since that was pretty much the only place I ever wore them. But my desk is against a wall in an office with a door that closes and locks… not everyone has such luxuries.

    Glad you made it in, in any case!

  17. In the hindsight of several days (and all of these comments) I now see solutions to at least two of these problems which didn’t involve my wasting time and gas. I’m most annoyed I didn’t remember the fifteen MacBooks (plus power cords!) located in the next wing, none of which – I guarantee – were being used.

    Whatever they say about hindsight being 20/20.

  18. Or home-related to work. Which in the case of the wallet I forgot at work, isn’t as easy to do (not bringing it that is).

    Yes, I forgot it at work on Friday, and realised this maybe half an hour after my post above Рwhen I was already home. Such is life I guess. Lucky my fianc̩e is understanding and agreed to pay our movie and other expenses this weekend:)

  19. Forgot my deoderant and lunch at home this time. Bought ’em both at the store on the way to school but I think it’s safe to suggest that days like the one depicted in this post are the rule not the exception. Ugh.