"1. -the kids are getting antsy for the end of the year, so discipline is
becoming an issue
-even if the principal never comes and observes you, they are observing
you in other ways
2. -I am worried about finding a job still. I have some applications
out, but it is still something that keeps eating at you until you get one.
3. -Everything seems to be going well. I am asking for less and less
assistance from my teacher with classroom management and creating lesson
plans. So far she is very pleased with my work and I feel comfortable
with the work I have done so far."
Apr 10 2002, Wednesday 8:15 CST
-Being Flexible can help when things get hectic. It seems like we always
have to change the schedule for this or that.
- I really enjoy teaching preschool. The kids are so willing to try
things. It is nice compared to the older kids who sometimes complain about
trying something new.
- We are getting ready for a 1st & 2nd grade program,it is hard to keep
the kids focused and fix little things.
- It is amazing at how serious some 1st graders can be.
-Everyone seems to be having loose teeth this week!
I am concerned:
- that we need a little more practice for our program.
- that I only have a few weeks left here and I love it!
I really am having fun here and can not believe that it is almost time to
go. I can't wait to have my own classroom!
Shannon L. Williams,
Apr 8 2002, Monday 9:28 CST
"I was in Portland, OR for the first part of this week trying to get a job.
I think I may have one, just a matter of paperwork.
What I learned:
-coming back from a short vacation is very tiring. I was very excited to
see my kids though, and it even seemed like they were excited to see me.
-Teaching a program to kids is pretty boring. There is just so much
-Will I really get a job? There really doesn't seem to be a great demand
-Are my kids getting as bored with the musical as I am, or do I just bore
I'm still having a great time this sememster, but i am beginning to tire
out. I had to tak on a lot this year to get myself moved and everything, and
I would really like some free time. I want to crochet and afghan, but I
have no time. At least I like my day job (teaching"
sara k. bradstreet,
Apr 7 2002, Sunday 6:23 CST
"What I am learning: This past week has been an exciting one. The choir
went on a field trip to some retirement homes and to the mall for lunch.
I got to conduct in front of an audience and that was fun. I also got to
learn what it was like to go shopping with six 5th graders and to be
responsible for them. I've never knew so many different stores had video
games inside of them. I've also been giving lessons to students after
school and I love getting to know the students better in a one on one
What I am concerned about: I have six programs to help get ready for
before I am finished student teaching. This is stressful for my teacher,
but I'm getting a lot of good experience. I don't think that I would plan
my curriculum with all of the programs at the end of the year.
Further thoughts: I really like working in an elementary school. I like
talking to the other teachers and I like the personalities of my students"
Apr 6 2002, Saturday 11:40 CST
"1. Music Appreciation is an exhausting class to teach. Maintaining
enthusiasm throughout a 50 minute lecture can take its toll on you
(especially when about 80% of the class looks like they were extras
on “Night of the Living Dead”). I am exhausted.
2. I am concerned about the lower choir. Every song they have learned
(prior to my arrival) has been by rote. I have tried introducing some
basic sight singing skills, but they hate every aspect of counting
rhythms. Back to the drawing board…
3. On a positive note, I was excited about some small success of
the “Stomp” lesson the bottom choir was working on. The day after they
performed their own “Stomp” compositions, I decided to re-think how the
task was presented because two-thirds of the compositions were pretty
stinky. So we spent the next day figuring out rhythms that they had
created in their compositions, and then created several compositions as a
class for the rest of the time. It made for a fun day. Now the only
question is how do I get them to make the transfer to sight singing
rhythms. So far they are just not getting it"
Mar 31 2002, Sunday 8:42 CST
- Planning for two classes of choral education is very difficult, because
it rarely goes how you expect it, I guess better more than less is ok, but
I always seem to plan more than I need
- New Warm-ups really make the students think, and they try really hard
and it is easy to keep them on task. They really like new warm-ups.
- Time, Time, Time - a variety show, the size of LAwrence takes so much
more time and equipment and people and organization than I ever thought,
but it well worth it!
I am concerned:
- About the way things are approached in front of the students, I don't
think that it makes me look knowledgeable. I hope that it does not make
me loose credit with the students. I love help and guidance, but constant
direct questioning about things I don't know, or things I had to hear
again, but did not catch soon enough. I am just not sure about the way it
is being approached.
Other - I love going to school everyday. There are always so many
positive things that I leave with everyday. The students are awesome! We
are getting ready for out big variety show and it takes alot of time,
patience, and flexibility from everyone. I am amazed at how well the
students handle all of it, they are awesome. I think they handle it
better than most adults. It makes me wonder if our flexibility and
patience skills weaken with time"
Mar 31 2002, Sunday 7:11 CST
"With one class as a whole, their student teacher is still perceived as an
enemy. Eg. fly was unzipped for entire class, class snickered, did not
inform student teacher of situation until end of the class; siderbar:
class was sinularly lacking in focus that day. Talent doesn't always
constitute victory...wait that is something else...Large groups of fourth
graders sometimes focus better than small groups.
Is singing a violin part okay for orchestral development (as a teacher I
mean)? It leads to much merriment, but is that enough?
Three hundred children is a lot. I can only dream of building that kind
Mar 31 2002, Sunday 6:51 CST
Mar 31 2002, Sunday 1:32 CST
Mar 31 2002, Sunday 1:31 CST
"This week I learned:
1. Do not ask a 4th grade class how their spring break was and expect them
to raise their hands to talk. I had a hard time getting them back on task.
2. Taking 3,4,5,and 6th graders on a fiel trip is really exhausting.
Something bad is bound to happen and it did.
3. Preparing Kindergarteners for a program is challenging and fun at the
My concerns are:
1. Finding a job.
2. Finding a job.
3. Getting my kids at New York and at Deerfield ready for programs and
Monday was really hard because the kids were all still on a mental spring
break. It was really up to us (teachers) to act alive and chipper to get
those kids motivated. We had a field trip on Tuesday to the Lied Center.
It was a great learning experience for the kids, but there were some
issues with the older kids. I didn't get to really enjoy the performance,
but that's the life of a teacher! We're trying to get kids ready for
programs and making last minute changes. You never know how things are
going to go untill you do a run-through....then Uh OH! I find myself
pummeled with ideas when I go home. I constantly have things running
through my head that I could do with the kids. I try to write everything
down and keep it organized, but there is just so much cool stuff to do!!
How to decide?? I am waiting to hear about a job. I've been told I should
know by Monday. EEK! "
Mar 31 2002, Sunday 1:27 CST
"I've learned that first graders are capable of doing things for sustained
times, but it's a lot better if you have a lot of stuff to do. A
clinician for band can be a good way to shake things up and get people out
of thier routines.
I'm concerned about having enough things to do in KG and 1st grade
classes. My catalog of kids songs isn't that great, and I don't really
enjoy them all that much.
Performances are quickly coming up and things are getting intense. I like
that though. It seems like you are working towards something instead of
just treading water"
Mar 31 2002, Sunday 10:29 CST
"What I learned:
-What a difference in behavior between the week before break and the
week after! :)
-Ironically, my eighth graders are the nicest, most eager to
learn...who woulda though?!
-Don't let a hectic spring schedule sneak up on you!
-Don't let a hectic spring schedule sneak up on you!
-Teaching past the break on clarinet! Oy!
-Doing in-class auditions for a trumpet solo in jazz. I don't want to
disappoint because all those interested in it have worked so hard.
-Funny how some of the teachers in the district are leaving, retiring,
etc...and students and parents of students are asking when I'll be handing
in my application. It's an uncomfortable flattery.
-I am still sorta struggling with giving a good grade to someone who
certainly didn't work for that grade...but I have to give him full credit
because of the special ed. program in which he is enrolled. It's tough to
beat a system that you can't touch.
Mar 28 2002, Thursday 9:33 CST
"What I learned this week:
-Students are still tired, even after a long vacation.
-Trying to get clinicians for all of your choirs can be tricky with block
-The interview process is really not too scary!
-I don't really have to many. I'm really looking forward to this month,
there are lots of great festivals on the horizons.
So far, this has been absolutely wonderful. I've gotten to work more
on my elementary teaching skills. Also, it has amazed me how much
the choirs have improved since I came in January. I really feel like a
teacher now, the students seem to respect me. I'm also very glad
that I was strict in the beginning, because now after some
disciplinary actions, the students know that they cannot act like fools
in my room or there will be consequences. Even some of my worst
students have now become very personable because they know the
boundaries and do not attempt to cross them. I'm having a lot of fun,
and look forward to being "the teacher!""
Mar 28 2002, Thursday 11:06 CST