There are days that I love being a teacher and then there are days that make me want to curl up in a ball in the corner and hide. There are also those moments that you just have to shake your head and laugh because whatever just was said or done is funny or you are trying to keep from crying.
As my second year of teaching is quickly coming to an end, I am realizing that I should have been writing down some of the things that have happened during my day. For right now, we will focus on today.
I saw my high school choir today and we are one week away from a three day trip and a little under two weeks away from our spring concert. Add to that that we are all feeling the spring bug and a third of my class is seniors makes for an interesting mix this time of year. Overall, my students were doing a nice job of focusing and following direction with minimal talking during transitions. While I was working with my ladies on their song, my guys decided they would join in. I don’t know what was the best part: the dance moves, the fact that the guys chose to sing in their falsetto voice, the fact that they were completely serious about what they were singing or a combination of all of the above. I somehow kept conducting and somehow we made it through the song. My favorite part of this is that my guys often are disengaged on their own part and I find a hard balance between encouraging them and correcting them. Too much correction and they stop singing.
After lunch I saw my second section of 5th grade. Tuesday they had a case of “let’s ask Ms. Smith questions about herself” in the middle of the lesson. I told them that if they kept all five stars up in music on Thursday (today) I would answer five questions. They did not keep five stars up today but I did concede to two questions. After a quick huddle to decide on the two questions they were ready to go. The first one was my age and they were very clear that I could not lie. Being a teacher I had to make them work for it so I only told them the year I was born. A few quick thinkers asked what month and they quickly figured out my age. The second question I knew was coming because they had already tried to ask it Tuesday. It was: “have you ever or do you currently have a boyfriend.” My answer of “no” had them in an uproar. As fifth graders, they could not imagine that I had never had a boyfriend! Oh the horror! It was an interesting way to finish our music class but a fun twist.
A proud moment today was seeing my 3rd graders perform with their recorders today as an introduction to their play “My Father’s Dragon”. They performed “Entrance of the Dragon Riders” and it was a perfect addition to their program. They did a great job and I am so happy that they got a chance to perform before the elementary students and their parents! You can find the music through MusicK8 .
On Thursday’s I teach the co-op special education students (PIP class). Most of the students stay in the classroom for the entire day but there are a few that that only go to the room for certain resources or when they need to get away from their main stream classroom. My fifth grade class that I talked about earlier has seen me getting ready for the PIP students at the end of their music class and several of them started asking who I was getting ready for and if they could help. AFter spring break I set it up with their grade level teacher so that a few of them could stay behind and help out. I love teaching the PIP students and seeing the lightbulb turn on for them with something we have done for weeks or see them connect or respond to music in a new way. Seeing my students interact with them and the joy that they get from that interaction has made me extremely proud of my students. The fifth grade student especially really want to help and want to know how to help the students. They don’t just sit close to the students, they are willing to take instruction, work with the student, talk with he student, etc. The last few times they have helped, one of their first questions when we are done is: “When can I come back?” I hope they never lose that joy of helping and I hope that working with the PIP students might light a fire for some of them to work with students with special needs as they grow older.
A few last random thoughts.
I loved having one of my accompanists at school today for three of my choirs. It was nice to be able to walk around and actually conduct!
I saw on of my PIP students this morning and said good morning like I usually do but his eyes lit up when he saw me and I know that it was because he knew today was a music day. He might not be able to express his thoughts and feelings with words but the look on his face was pure joy!
I like coffee and try as I may, cutting back to chai or tea in the morning is not going to work anytime soon