Wow! Time sure does fly by quickly. I can’t believe I’ve come so far and am only 3 months away from graduating. I’m into my 4th week of student teaching, and I’m off and running. Last semester’s classes kept me busy for sure. I’m glad to have taken my last undergrad final though.
Student teaching has been full of ups and downs thus far. I love being able to put what I’ve spent years learning about and building up to. There are a lot of teaching that only come from experience. I didn’t realize how tiring it was to be with the students all day. I love them and the environment, but I’m ready for a nap after school.
Classroom management is another one of those learn from experience situations. There need to be consistent and immediate responses to misbehavior, but there is so much going on when you’re teaching that it can be overwhelming to catch the behavior problems and effectively teach and deal with the 25 other things happening in the room and your brain. I am an advocate of routine and consistency to help both the students and myself not get crazy.
The transition from college ensembles to elementary through high school ensembles is shocking at first. Peter Boonshaft talks about this shock by beginning teachers when he speaks at conferences and in his books. It is so true. One almost expects a high school group to get a piece and be able to sight-read it almost perfectly, but 90% of the time, they don’t. That’s fine. We have to figure out what these kids know and their abilities and not be too harsh on them when they aren’t performing at the college level we’ve grown accustomed to hearing. Our job as music teachers is to teach them, encourage them to make music, and show them the power of music to express and communicate our culture.
I’m looking forward to continuing my experience. I’ve loved my kids and co-op (mentor) teachers. There are rough days where the kids are heading in a completely different direction than I am, and there are days when everything clicks. My goal is to keep pushing on, learning from every experience, and share my passion for music with my kids.