"1. I learned that good lesson plannign is key to maintaining sanity.
- I learned that some things don't workfor some groups and you have to
have a backup plan ready.
- I learned you have to pick your battles with the kids. If I tried to
micromanage every behavior, I would never get anything done.
2. I am a little overwhelmed when lesson planning because there are so
many things I could do with the kids.
- I am concerned that I will never catch up with my lessons. Just when I
think I have a plan, it's time to plan for the next week.
- It is really hard to deal with classroom behaviors when I still can't
remember all the kids' names.
This week was really full. I had a workshop at the Lied Center to go to
one night and then we had a staff meeting another. Plus lesson planning at
home takes some time too. The kids are getting ready to go on a field trip
to a performance of HARLEM at the Lied center, so we are trying to
introduce them to the literature and jazz stuff. Again, there is so much I
would like to teach them, but it is hard to choose. I am learning to get
my materials ready way before class starts so I don't have to fumble
around looking for things. This helps to keep the kids focused. I am
having a really interesting experience at New York elementary. Stuff I
teach the kindergarteners at Deerfield is more appropriate for the first
graders at New York. Classroom management is much more of an issue, but
the kids I am able to get through to are so rewarding. Additionally, it is
hard to balance my teaching with raising Elijah. I could spend all evening
at home putting stuff together for the next day, but I still need to be a
good mom to Elijah. Either way, I wind up feeling guilty for neglecting
one or the other. Sara (Wedel) says it will get better...I just need to
get my rhythm down."
Mar 4 2002, Monday 6:22 CST
-getting a group ready to perform at KMEA can be very stressful.
- if y our groups gets accepted to perform at KMEA, teach some of the
literature first semester and just revisit it.
- it is important to remind kids that you still like them, but it is the
behavior that you do not like
-Grandville oldham is a wonderful clinician and the kids love him - he
is one of the few clinicians that is an educator
I am concerned about:
- working with the small ensembles for the variety show, because I
don't have enough time to go through each score well enough,
because of the large number of ensembles.
Wow, I really learned what all goes into getting a group ready for
KMEA! It was a lot of fun, and the kids really enjoyed it, but it was very
stressful for Mrs. Bushouse. I really enjoyed spending time with the
All-State students in Wichita, it is great to get to know the students a
little better and see them outside of school. I am so lucky to be at
Free State, I could not have asked for a better experience."
Feb 27 2002, Wednesday 5:47 CST
"1. -if you are wanting the students in your class to act better, find the
few students who are acting appropriately and praise them for it, everyone
will change and you have just made a few people feel really good about
- getting ready for programs entails a lot of extra preparation that one
never realizes has to be done
- I have come up with a new name for our program that several of the
specials teachers are going to adopt--"They Never Stop Coming"--because
just when you are about to get something accomplished during your planning
period, it is time for the next set of classes to come in
2. -am I ever going to get faster at planning? I don't have very much
information in my head yet to plan fast and it is kind of annoying
- resources, resources, resources? there are so many that I am finding
that I want, but which ones do you get first, do you wait to see what is
at your school before buying, should I buy it myself, should I wait and
use my budget on it or buy it myself so I will always have it?
3. -Teachers do so much and get so little credit for it. We had a Family
Night and each teacher or set of classroom teachers had activities for
families to do together. Yes, the teachers got paid for their extra time,
but it is really insignificant what they make for their effort involved.
My teacher actually taught a lesson to the people. When it was time for
everyone to leave, people kept coming in, but since we didn't have
anything set up for a lesson, the parents and kids started playing with
all of my teacher's extra instruments she has. Some of them almost got
broke because people just do not care about other people's belongings or
do they care to realize how much money things cost. My teacher owns most
of the instruments in the room and it was just unbelievable how
disrespectful the parents were about these items. It really makes you
understand why kids act and treat things the way they do!!!!"
Feb 24 2002, Sunday 10:23 CST
"it turns out that singling one miscreant out of a group of children will
often time result in an entire class of children being very attentive to
what you have to say
starting a tune can be a difficult part of conducting; continuing that
tune can be even harder.
i cannot be convinced that an entire class of eighth grade orchestra
students from the state of Kansas does not like fiddling tunes. they like
challenging pieces this piece challenges them, they still do not like it;
they prefer Mozart. this seems somewhat preposterous, but they are quite
snobbish when it comes to musical selection. their student teacher is
my "mimic your favorite conductor/student teacher" exercise turned out to
be much more enjoyable than I had intended. it may be some time before we
play that game again. (punk seventh graders"
Feb 24 2002, Sunday 9:17 CST
"What I learned:
-Having the kids immediately (sp?) after gym is a challenge at times. The
students may come with some tension that began in gym. it is important to
give the students a time to change gears and clam themselves down.
-My teacher gives each student a time to tell his/her class whatever they
want to during roll, and I think that this has been a great way to start
class. I tell the students that this is their time to get their "talk" out.
-I am feeling rather comfortable at this point. My biggest problem is
teaching a lesson for the first time and working any kinks out of it. You
can plan as much as you want to, but there is no better practice then just
teaching the lesson. I am having a bit of a problem with talking, but I am
getting the hang of being stern with the students (A very hard thing for a
silly person like me to accomplish.)
I am having a great time. I don't have too much "me time", but I don't seem
to mind because I really like what I am doing. I also am having a great
time with all of the teachers at the school. They treat me like an equal,
and it makes me feel so welcome, and I know that I can always get help from
many of the teachers. The principal of the school also rocks out. That's
it for this round. Everybody have a good time teaching this week"
Sara K. Bradstreet,
Feb 24 2002, Sunday 9:02 CST
"Things that were good this week:
I finally think I have gotten through to the eighth graders. They don?t
think I?m quite the witch they once thought, but that I do demand quietness
in the classroom.
Teaching high school and getting into some more musical literature is very
rewarding and exciting.
I enjoy teaching voice lessons. It has been fun to help the students sing
better in their solo singing, but also their choral singing.
I don?t have too many concerns. I am really comfortable in my school
system and am enjoying it a lot. I still must reiterate what a nightmare
block scheduling is. We only see our choirs twice next week, have a
weekend, and then league contest. Talk about some serious retention
problems!!! So, if I could offer any advice to everyone: fight hard
against full block scheduling!! It is killing choral and instrumental
programs as well as subjects like math and foreign language. What a mess"
Feb 24 2002, Sunday 6:46 CST
"A fire drill will really freak out first graders if they are not in their
Starting recorder does not have to be an awful experience, just mildly
Grading things takes an enormous amount of time.
The more classes I teach, the more I have to plan. Can I keep up.
Will I ever be able to learn the hand movements to stupid first grade
songs as well as the first graders?
blah blah blah -
I feel like I'm really in the groove right now. Things are beginning to
operate smoothly and kids are really warming up to me. "
Feb 24 2002, Sunday 5:44 CST
-that kindergarteners need several different activities in a twenty minute
class, not just one activity
-that there are many small schools not very far from Lawrenence
-elementary school takes a lot of planning and preparation
It is more difficult to develop relationships with students than I had
I am very busy. I am still figuring discipline out, I am very new at
this. I keep reading to figure out new techiques or to remind myself to
do something that I had forgotten. "
Feb 24 2002, Sunday 12:46 CST
"What I learned:
-The parent/teacher conference system at SM is terrible.
-List making is effective, even if just a few things are on the list.
-Getting to know the students. I know about 90% of the names, but I
don't know THEM. Some classes, due to time constraints or the room
situation, make this difficult.
-Dealing with 8th graders' crap.
-Having the time to fully prepare for each class, not shortchanging
them in any way. I get home and I am beat.
-Another good week. Chemistry between me and the teacher is great.
-I feel like I am doing well, I feel confident, I look good, and am
very comfortable in front of the kids. Only problem...am I having fun? Can't
say I am, entirely. I feel like I am way too busy, I get home and I am beat
yet have to prepare for the next day. The kids are great, the teacher is
Feb 23 2002, Saturday 3:45 CST
"I have learned:
-the combination of kids in a group does make a difference in the product
you recieve from them. Be careful when grouping kids.
-be sure to always have a plan when you use instruments. The kids all want
to play so have a plan of rotation of something in mind before you start.
- teaching reading is fun. My teacher does a literacy lab and I got to
help. It is exciting to see the students struggle with a word and then a
lightbulb goes on and they get it.
- working with recorders can be enjoyable and not too much of a headache.
The most frustrating thing is when you try to help them and they feel like
they can do it, but keep doing it wrong.
-classroom management for some students. There are some students with
special needs that seem to be a handful at the moment. I am having to
rethink certain strategies of my teaching.
I am very excited about the next few weeks and getting to know the
Shannon L. Williams,
Feb 20 2002, Wednesday 5:02 CST