- Students often think they understand when it is test time and do not
need to review. The fourth graders said they didn't want to review so we
didn't and they didn't do as well. Big surprise, not.
-Letting the student know it is their behavior that is not aceptable, but
you like them as a person is important. That is telling them you are fine,
but you need to think about how to act in class.
- Choices are important to the students. They like to feel as though they
are in control sometimes. You can share control after you carefully plan
and practice this. Things tend to go a lot better and participation has
even increased in one class when I tried to start doing more of this.
- Our program is Tuesday and the kids still mix up someof the words in the
songs. I think it will be ok though.
I am really happy with my experience this semester and am glad to be with
great teachers who are teaching me different ways of assessing the
situation and how to make everyone successful."
Shannon L. Williams,
Apr 19 2002, Friday 9:08 CST
"Things I learned
Preparing for a sub is so much trouble, I will try to never be gone,
ever. When you keep thinking, "After I make it through this week, it will
get easier.", you're only kidding yourself. Something else will always be
concerns, will I ever sleep again?
deep thoughts. I have marshmellow brain.
Apr 15 2002, Monday 10:16 CST
"What I learned:
-I gave lessons after school every day for the past two weeks and I really
missed that extra hour when the stores and post offices were open.
-I really like my students and I am getting to know them better all of the
-I am getting better at conducting, my teacher is helping me alot and I
like most of her advice.
What I am concerned about:
-I am overwhelmed with things to do.
I feel like I am really getting to know the staff and students now and am
not just a visitor anymore. Some students have a lot of problems that
they are dealing with in their lives and it is nice to be there for them.
I like being in a school setting and I do not miss being in college as
much as I thought that I would. We had a program last Tuesday with the
second graders and they all wore their pajamas to fit the night time theme
of the program.. they were adorable, I recommend this idea to everyone. "
Apr 15 2002, Monday 9:25 CST
"Things I learned this week:
- Dealing with contest and unfair judges is very difficult for both the
students and directors. I learned from and watched to directors deal with
this, including confronting the judge, writing letters and contacting his
instituition of employment.
- Teaching on the fly in high school is not as hard as younger grades,
because it is easy to pick up from where they left off the day before, I
am not suggesting this, but it is easier to get thrown into teaching at
the high school level than when I was at the elementary.
- The beginning of the year. It is hard since we never see it, what the
beginning of the year is like and everything that we need to get done. I
am just worried that I will forget something.
I love kids. I was so impressed at how mature LFSHS students were when
they had to come from a long weekend of their variety show and go right
into contest mode on Monday. They were amazing and ready to work, in
spite of their really wanting and deserving a day with less intensity. I
believe that on the average, students are more reliable than adults."
Apr 15 2002, Monday 10:49 CST
"Things I learned...
1. Advanced planning for contest causes less stress for the contest
2. Covering performance anxiety techniques could be helpful when preparing
for solo/ensemble festival.
3. Have all of your soloists prepared.
1. Lack of preparedness for some of the soloists.
2. Amount of time the students were given to prepare (four weeks with
spring break in the middle).
3. Scheduling of a major show so close to contests.
I felt sorry for some of the student's low outcomes for regional
solo/ensemble contest. I realize the scheduling of the variety is a major
factor (for preparing) due to all the work involved with preparing for an
inaugural show. As part of the preparation process, we should have talked
about performance anxiety and presented some techniques in relaxation.
Some of the poor freshman were scared stiff to perform their solos. I
tried presenting some techniques, but by that time my advice was falling
on deaf ears. Hopefully next year the students will be better prepared,
and a major show doesn't have to be scheduled so late due to a basketball
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 8:55 CST
"Things I learned..."
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 8:25 CST
"What I learned:
1. I learned that you have to be so consistent with discipline or else the
kids will continue to test you.
2. I learned that 6th grade boys will try to sneak a peak down anyone's
3. I learned that a kindergarten music program will never go as planned.
1. Now that I have a job, the reality is setting in and I am concerned
about classroom management.
2. I worry that the kids are bored preparing for their programs, and I
would like to liven things up.
3. I am concerned about the talking problem in my 4th grade class and how
to stop it without seeming frustrated.
I am having a lot of fun with these kids. I have actually heard a
few "wows" and "this is awesome" from a few kids. That makes me feel
really competent compared to the fourth and sixth graders who think they
are too cool to sing. I was the sub this week while Sara was gone, and
those kids really tried my patience. I think they know I'll be gone soon
and are just testing me. I have had a lot of fun at both schools lately.
At New York, I am trying new ways to reach the kids that are so....urban.
(?) They really seem to respond well when I relate pop music to the lesson
in some way, or let them compose. I am anxious to get into my classroom
and take inventory of what I have and what I need to order. Everyday I
think of another question I have about my new job and what to expect. I am
excited and scared at the same time. It's like the feeling you get just
before the roller coaster takes off."
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 4:11 CST
"What I learned:
-A concert without programs is a nightmare...and a major
disappointment. Don't let disorganization amongst a group of people take
-In general for rehearsing: repetition, repetition, repetition!
-It's fun to see all of the things I get to expose my student in all
ages (from 5th grade to high school) to that I never had (as much) in public
schools (lots of listening, jazz history, clinicians...)
-Working everything up and refining for Friday's jazz concert
-Trying and experimenting more with other groups as time winds down
this school year
-Will I have enough time to finish jazz history?
-I am trying to figure out whether or not I prefer block scheduling to
everyday, shorter meetings. I fret during my planning periods over trying to
fill out an entire block's worth of material without boring them with the
same piece or repetition. On the other hand, I have a ton more time to
really get into a piece all at once.
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 2:33 CST
"What I've learned:
-The spring semester really flies by!!
-Festival is fun, exciting, and scary all at the same time!
-Performing solos and in ensembles is very rewarding to kids. They really
enjoy it, and most work very hard at it!
-I'm still concerned about block scheduling. This week there were numerous
school activities that the students missed school for. Since we only see
them an average of twice a week, this cut our time down to only one day
this week. We have festival this coming week, and we've only seen them
twice in two weeks. The retention rate is so incredibly poor!!
-I just got a job, and I'm a little nervous about the whole thing. Will I
get done what I want and need to do?
Overall, everything is still going great. I love teaching and am looking
forward to having my own classes!"
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 2:01 CST
"In disciplining of students it is good to get them to talk to you as much
as it is good to preach at them. Sometimes, they are able to realize
how silly they are being. It is also good to hear them recite back to
you all of the things that you have been telling them from weeks. It
means that at least some time is spent actually paying attention to
what teacher has to say.
My fellow student teacher insists on calling me by my first name in
front of the high school students. It makes me a little angry. She
really needs to wake up.
It is some times very difficult to affect the kind of environment you
wish to provide for fourth graders. It is amazing how readily some will
adapt themselves to your particular style of teaching, but then another
group of children of the same age will fight you every step of the way.
It is also amazing how true it is that one (or a few) bad apples will
spoil the whole barrel"
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 1:38 CST