I am already half way through the year! It is hard to believe. I started this year thinking, oh boy! one day at a time. Soon, that one day ended up in January.
Going back to August. I was one of the last people to be hired at my school, so I didn’t have much time to set everything up. Between all of the workshops, the stacks of papers and extras desks that had been dumped in my room over the summer, and just trying to get myself organized, I thought I would never be ready. Then it happened, the first day of school. The students walked in my room, I told them wear to sit and they looked up at me with big bright eyes and waited. I thought it would be weird being on the other side of things, but I opened my mouth and it all felt very natural. I was told in college that class should start with music and end with music. So, that is what I did. I turned on music and started to sing. We did movements and we welcomed each other with a simple song where each person said their name. Finally, I went over the rules and we learned how to line up. After that first day, or should I say days(5 day rotation, 40 min classes), I was hooked!
Before I knew it I was planning the winter musical. 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade participated in this. They learned songs of the different holidays, made posters, and played instruments. Teaching the program, I had a great time, accompanied by not such great times. 3rd and 4th were awesome! They sang their hearts out and played instruments. 5th grade had other plans for me. They were my class that didn’t like the change, they wanted to run things their way. Finally, after a few class periods (which means weeks) of writing and remembering who the teacher is, we were off to a good start. Then, it was the night of the program! and the students were great!
In teaching the holiday program, I fell in love with boomwhackers! These instruments are great for the classroom and inexpensive. I would suggest having at least two sets. They can play melodies, chordal accompaniment, and be added for special effects.
Meanwhile, I was still working with pre-k through 2nd. We had a special musical guest come to our school to do a presentation. All of the students were in the gym listening to the presenter, when he asked the students, “What is the most important thing about music?” Hands went up all over the gym. In the very middle of the gym, one of the kinders stood as tall as he could and raised his hand, the presenter called on him. My student said proudly, “steady beat! like this” and showed him how to do it! I have never been so proud in all of my life. This was another moment when I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
Now it is January, I still feel the very same. I get excited thinking about the students performing on the stage for the holiday musical, and the little boy who was so proud when saying steady beat. I am getting to know my students more and more, understanding where they come from and what they want to do with their life. My 5th grade students are coming around more and more! They actually ask me in the hallway if they can come to my class more than once a week! I tell them I wish, but it’s not possible (think of how much we could get done if we taught them more than once a week!). One of my goals is to ask every child what they want to be when they grow up. It does something to students when you ask this. A twinkle in their eye, when they think of what might be, and to know you care.