MEMT 500 Seminar: Student Teaching Home

Post your Week Ten Journal:

(1) What I learned this past week, listed in enumerated key words or phrases;
(2) My concerns this past week, listed in enumerated key words or phrases; and
(3) Further thoughts about my student teaching this past week (prose).

You may want to write and save your journal entry first in your word processing program and then paste into the box below.

"1. -getting your first graders on the risers for their program is very
time consuming for the first rehearsal--they don't stand still and always
have to use the bathroom, get drinks, etc.
- after rehearsing for a program for an hour, it is hard to get your mind
back into the swing of things to teach your next classes
-when doing a first grade musical, you have to teach first graders how to
act/respond otherwise everything will come out monotone
2. -are the first graders really going to be ready for the program on
- are the fifth graders going to remember the dances for their program in
a month?
- am I going to get a job that is convenient for Will and I?

3. -I can't believe that it is April. For once, my "job" is fun and I
don't think much about what day it is and wonder when the weekend will be
here. That is exciting and I hope that this does not change. "

Andrea Herrman,
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 10:53 CST

"I learned:
-Preparing for a program with another teacher in the building is kind of a
pain in the bootie. I am planning a program with one of the part time music
teachersin the building, and she is pretty darn high strung. My cooperating
teacher is pretty laid back, but not this teacher. I am also laid back.
Since i'm just a student teacher I just have to deal with it. Not Fun!!!
-Getting a job in another state is a pain, but I don't want to stay in
- I hope I do okay with this other teacher. Argh!
- I hope I don't get let the other teacher's stress rub off on me. I have
enough on my plate withou added stress.
Other Thoughts:
I can't believe I'm almost done. I have had a great time and will miss this
school when I leave. I can't believe I'm almost an "adult"

Sara K. Bradstreet,
Apr 14 2002, Sunday 7:09 CST

"I learned:
- Recorders are fun, but require a lot of rules to be set down to go
smoothly. The kids really like to play them.
- There is a lot of little things that go into planning State Music
Festival. I have been helping with it and the scheduling has to be the
worst. I have learned a lot in this experience.
-I am reading "Love & Logic" and trying some of the suggestions. I didn't
realize I naturally do some of the ideas. I like what I have learned so
far and it seems to work pretty well.

I have no big concerns right now, but I am happy that I get to work with
these great kids! I am gonna miss them."

Shannon L. Williams,
Apr 12 2002, Friday 10:24 CST

"I Learned:

- Teachers can create unnecesary stress for themselves
- There are a lot of little details that have to be worked out for a big
show, and you have to get over somethings and be ready to plan for them
the next year
- Make sure you have outlined instructions and expectations for people
that you hire in to help with shows and record them.
- Making kids work hard and pushing them to create and partake in a classy
show, really makes them appreciate the experience in a lot of different

- Not getting to see the begining of the year and having an example or
model to work from

Other: Freestate had their annual pop-variety show. It was a blast and I
learned so much. I am not sure if I could do one of these alone. Pam
does a great job of doleing out the jobs to do and she has a great support
system. I know that is something that builds with time, but she is
amazing! I think the students learned not only about themselves but others
in their lives, friends, boy/girl friends, parents, teachers, and

Erin Stewart,
Apr 8 2002, Monday 4:09 CST

"What I Learned:
-Spring Fever can hit really hard among the students.
-Never give up on students that torture you at the beginning. Some of
those are now my favorite students to teach!
-Humor is one of the best ways to reach stubborn kids!
-We're getting ready for festival, and it's a little scary. It seems that
the performance of the choir reflects directly on me and that is kind of
-I'm also getting a little nervous about entering the professional world.
I'm really comfortable in the classroom now, but is that because I know I
have someone else nearby? Will I be this comfortable and confident on my own?

I'm still having a blast. The students crack me up and every day I have a
new story to tell my husband. I feel like I've really gotten through to
some of the kids. One eighth grade student who was a complete jerk during
the first few weeks told his brother (who is in my high school mixed
chorus) that I was the meanest teacher in the whole world after those first
couple of weeks. Well, the brother came back and told me this week that
the eighth grader came home and said. "You know, Mrs. Koehn isn't so bad.
She's strict, but that's okay!" That just made my day, week, maybe even
month. It seems that I've gotten through to several kids just like this
and it is a great feeling. This eighth grader is even singing out now.
What a new development!! I still can't believe how fast this semester has
flown by. It feels like we just got started! "

Tori Koehn,
Apr 7 2002, Sunday 9:49 CST

"Well after a few days of studying out of a sight-singing book, we decided
to get out some new music to see if any of it transferred. Overall, they
did alright, but I had to spoon feed them the interval numerals (he
doesn't use solfege). I even pulled out several tricks (singing scales
with numbers, arpeggios, etc.), but they still struggled. Eventually I
had to hold up the numbers on my fingers to get them through just sight
reading the melody. Apparently this is their first experience with sight
singing. Every song they have learned in the past has been by rote.

Bottom line is when I get a job; I should stick with the idea of having a
sight reading example everyday. Sure it takes quite a bit of library
work, but the benefits will be plentiful"

Dan Brinkley,
Apr 7 2002, Sunday 8:53 CST

"I learned that concerts can take up a lot of time and make for a real
headache even though it only lasts about 1/2 hour. Discipline plans work
so well when you can have help from the classroom teacher as well. 5th
and 6th grade chorus is just a mess when it gets nice outside. Elementary
choirs need bigger conducting gestures than I'm used to giving. You have
to be really obvious with what you are doing.
I'm concerned that my head will explode trying to get through these next
couple of weeks. There's so much important stuff going on. "

Aaron Hall,
Apr 7 2002, Sunday 8:22 CST

"What I learned:
1. Well, I learned that I GOT A JOB!!!!
2. I learned that in the spring, 6th grade boys are in heat, and you can
never wear anything too modest.
3. Preparing for several programs at once can get confusing.

My concerns:
1. I am concerned that I don't have enough in my bag of tricks to get a
class back when they are talking.
2. I am now becomiong terrified at the thought of getting paid to be
responsible for the music education of elementary students!
3. I am concerned about developing incentive plans for some of the kids
with behavior disorders.

This was a very long week. We are getting ready for 3 programs at Deerfield
(K, 5th, and 6th) and 5 programs at New York (K, 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th).
It is getting wild trying to keep track of what is being done at what
school. It has been fun trying to come up with new ideas and seeing the
kids respond to them. I love it when they say "this is fun!" Both of my
teachers are starting to expect a lot more out of me. I guess this is good,
but scary at the same time because there is so much stuff that I could do
with the kids. I am getting more acquainted with each class, and that makes
the days go faster."

Rachel Chronister,
Apr 7 2002, Sunday 5:04 CST

"What I learned
-Taking the time to let students quiet themselves down is worth it!
-I need to make my conducting gestures brain is magnifying
them to make me think they are more literal than they really are.

My concerns
-As most conductors need, I need more experience of catching everything
the ensemble plays instead of hearing the melody and letting the other parts
fly past me.
-Generally, just prepearing and doing the finishing touches with a few
of my slower groups for an upcoming concert is in the front of my to-do

Other thoughts
-What a change in behavior between this week and the days before spring
-Something I would recommend to the other student teachers is to go
thru the videos you take with your teacher, and not just back at your
apartment. Having my teacher there to make the comments as I watched was
very helpful for me, and I noticed a lot more than when I just watched it by

Ben Tatar,
Apr 7 2002, Sunday 3:40 CST

"It is really amazing what student teacher can be roped into doing. I was
asked to judge flag routine tryouts. It was most intriguing. Student
teaching is so hard. You try to mimic your cooperating teacher as best
you can, but you have to involve some originality as well. It is so
tough. I have heard it said that attitude is a reflection of leadership.
That sounds nice and all, but there is something to be said for a modicum
of intrinsic motivation as well. Case in point: some high school bass
players need to be punted from the orchestra. They are more of a
disruption than is really necessary, and they simply do not give a damn
about it. If at first your arrangement does not succeed, then it is good
that you tried it out on a quartet from the high school rather than taking
it directly to the eighth grade. "

joseph klassen,
Apr 6 2002, Saturday 3:54 CST


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