An Unsettling Week

The post I was planning to write last weekend was supposed to say that not much has been going on.  It was also supposed to say things were going well and that my students were being great.  Well, my students are great, but this week was everything BUT what I was planning on writing last weekend. (but sadly never got around to doing) This post does not have much to do with the actual teaching of music, but something I just really want to put out there in the internet cloud of millions of blogs and opinions.

The school I teach at is going through restructuring because of low test scores.  This is where they remove the principal and replace at least half of the teachers.  I personally think my job will be okay, because I do not teach a tested subject, but we all know that may not be the case.  It saddens me for the children at my school to have half of the staff replaced.  They have enough inconsistencies in their life and this just adds one more.  Yes, our test scores must come up, but I wish their was another way of making this happen.

Secondly, I had my first student run out of my classroom. (No, this is not as serious as the first point of discussion or the last).  In the middle of teaching 3rd grade and playing boom whackers, I had a student get up and run out.  I really thought everyone was having fun and kids were giggling and laughing because of what we were singing (we were learning about high notes vs. low notes and experiencing it with our voices and the whackers and practicing rhythms) and one of my students took it the wrong way and thought the kids were laughing at him and took off.  I had to call in a person from the office to talk with him and get him to come back to class.  I really do not know what I could have done differently to avoid this.  Students were laughing at themselves and laughing through the whole demonstration, so I truly believe they were not singling anyone out.

Lastly, I was asked on Thursday what the most difficult part of teaching was and at the moment my answer was keeping everyone engaged as much as possible, because it requires using many styles of teaching at once and as a first year teacher I am still developing my “bag of tricks”.  Then Friday happened.  I now believe the most difficult part of teaching is losing a student.  A students from my school died on Friday.  It was very unexpected.  I still do not think I have come to complete realization that it has happened.  I have taught this student every week since August and am in complete shock.  I am trying to think of what to do next week during music class when I have that class.  I would like to do something to help the healing begin with her classmates.  As a first year teacher I never thought about losing a student, I guess it happens more often then I think, but it was something I was never prepared for.

So, as I said this post was supposed to be about how everything was going okay and nothing much has changed, but as you can see in the past week things have drastically changed.


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