Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Diaries of a beginner teacher...I love my students...no, really I think I do

The other day I was talking to another director I work with and we were laughing over how many times we repeat things in our classes.  He said he just wanted to record all of the repeated sayings and just hit play when needed.  

Track 1:  "Tap your toe."
Track 2: " Take a deep breath."
Track 3: "Don't breath through your nose."
Track 4:   "Play the right note." 
Track 5: "Sit up strait..."
Track 31:  "Stay wiht the metronome"
Track 57:  "Fix your embouchure."
Track 82:  "Too much mouthpiece in your mouth."
Track 95: "TAP YOUR TOE"
Track 456:  "SIT UP STRAIT!"

Can I squeeze a "use your brain!" in there?  How about "read music!"  I don't think either of those would be very effective, would they?  I love my students...no, really, I do.  I just get so frustrated by their inability do what I want them to do!  I can hear some of my professors chuckling in the back of my head right now (clue #63 that I'm loosing my mind in this first year of teaching).  

On another note....check this story out.  One of the many reasons I love band.


Monday, October 27, 2008

End of a season

Once again, time has flown by!  This past Saturday my band finished their competitive marching season.  We had advanced on from region to area and were one place away from making finals at area.  Never before have I seen my kids so heart broken-as soon as they found out we had not made it the water works began!  But hopefully by now, they can look past that and realize how much they have improved over the year!  So many people commented on how this was one of the best bands from our school they had seen in years-improvement, right? They are already chomping at the bit to start again (I hope that lasts all the way until next October...).  Overall, this marching season had to be one of the most rewarding seasons of my life.  I have never worked so hard, been so frustrated, or loved a group of high school students as much as I have with this one.  
See our website at www.gobigblueband.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Month In...

We are now one month into the 2008-2009 school year!  It has flown by!  I can't believe that a month ago I was so uncomfortable and knew so little.  I feel like I am setteling into a routine at work, with kids, and have a much better idea about what I am doing.  There have certainly been some MAJOR ups and downs.  The lowest point is the fact that I already have a threat of getting sued!  Who would have thought that I could cause such a contraversy?  I've been comforted by the support of the other directors, the administration, and a few emergency calls to the ATPE and TMEA lawyers-nothing can really happen, they don't have a leg to stand on.   The high points include those sweet moments when students you don't even expect say the sweetest things.  My favorite moment of teaching has been when one of my students with special needs stopped by to say hi.  

At the beginning of summer band, we had a clinician come in to rehearse the marching band.  Not only did he clinic the band, he taught the directors.  All through rehearsal, when we would begin sitting back and not paying attention, he would come over and ask, "What did you learn?"  We would all try to scramble for something that would really contribute, but he had caught us red handed.  At the end of the day he came over and told me that during every rehearsal or class I teach I should constantly be asking these questions....
-What went well?
-What should be improved?
-What did I learn?

Those questions have stuck with me and at the end of my classes I evaluate how I did by using them.  All I have to say is, what an eye opener!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First day of School

I am official.  I just survived my first day of school as a first year teacher!  Surprisingly, I'm not too tired-but that may be due to the fact that I've been pulling some very long shifts these past couple of weeks.  Oh the wonder of summer marching band and staff development :(.  I feel like I am finally getting to a point that I understand what is expected of me as a staff member, but I still feel extremely anxious about tomorrow.  Everyone kept asking if I was nervous or if I was ready for the first day of school and I could honestly say, "No, I'm not nervous and yes I'm so ready to get into the school year."  Well...I could be honest until about 10pm last night.  Suddenly I became nervous and began to worry myself sick about all of the things I had failed to take care of before today.  I didn't go back over the college text books that told you what to do on your first day, I didn't look very closely at the Standard Operating Procedures of my school, I didn't finish that beginner trombone packet, I forgot to pick up that 5-minute theory book for my beginners...!  It was not a good feeling.  When that alarm went off at 5am I just know that my dream of being the ideal Harry Wong "effective first day teacher" was over.

However, when I arrived at my desk I didn't find Mr. Wong or even my boss shaking their fingers at my supposed failures.  No, it wasn't this place where students were staring up at me as if they were looking for some way to break me.  It was actually empty.  I was the first there.  Taking a seat in my chair all fears disappeared and I simply started my job.  No big deal.  I worked.  That's what I came to do and the rest fell into place.  

My first day as a teacher went like this:  I read the handbook.  No plans or beginner trombone packet necessary.  

Friday, August 1, 2008

Welcome to my blog


Check out my blog on WAT "Diaries of a Beginner Teacher"