"I learned that it is a lot of fun to work with the top group. It was
myownly chance, because my cooperating teacher was sick. They were
wonderufl and kept me on my toes.
I also learned that warm-ups need to be long enough to accomplish your
goals, but the students really want to get to the music.
I also learned how important it is to learn the names of everyone, becuase
it make the students feel like you care about them. It also makes class
and discipline easier. I know alot of names becuase I had many of the
students last year at Southwest, but I feel like I am picking on them a
I am concerned about keeping up and ahead with all of the music. My
cooperating teacher seems to do a much better job because she knows the
music and has worked it before"
Feb 18 2002, Monday 7:11 CST
"I have been at my school for three weeks now and am really starting to
feel comfortable with the students and my role as teacher. We have been
working on the musical(which opens this week) every evening and weekend,
so it has been somewhat of a crash course in being a high school vocal
teacher. I appreciate my cooperating teacher trusting me to run musical
rehearsals and classes while he his busy getting everything else done, but
because he has twenty years of experience, he doesn't think two minutes
notice is cause for panic. However, the more this happens, the more I
realize I am glad I have been forced to improvise daily because it has
made me more confident in my abilities. In addition, knowing that the
next class could me in my hands, I am now CONSTANTLY aware of what the
next step would be with every piece of music. This has made me very
flexible, but is also exhausted. My main concern is my ability to keep up
with score study on everything as we pass out more and more music. But
even with everything, I am having a blast and just love high school kids."
Feb 14 2002, Thursday 4:40 CST
"I learned: not many parents stop by to see the music teacher during
My concerns: if I will be able to make enough resources for myself to be
ready for a job in the fall so that I can teach kids music with different
Further thoughts: I am really enjoying being with these kids. They can
be so funny. I think I've found what I want to be when I grow up!!! This
is very exciting for me to discover because if you would have asked me
last month what I want to do next year, I would have said I really don't
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 10:41 CST
"It has been a very good week, albeit quite busy. I went to Manhatten on
Monday night. I had concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The Middle
School's concert was tues. I conducted one piece for seventh grade and
one for the eight grade. Nothing quite like quickly getting one's feet
wet. The kids are remarkably attentive for middle school kids. They are
very focused on the tasks at had. This is in part due to Mr. Kile being a
fabulous teacher, but it could be that they are better kids than I was
when I was in Middle School. This is particularly true for the eighth
graders. They have no problems with focus when I take over the podium.
The seventh graders are a bit more mischevious at times. They also like
to giggle quite a bit. But there are roughly thirty students in each
class, so that has a lot to do with it. I see that I am going to like
those sinners (seventh) quite a bit. They are a very fun group.
From general to particular. I find myself "stealing" a student's
instrument as it were in order to demonstrate the sound I wish to hear. I
would like to be able to convey through my conducting more. Mr. Kile says
that that will come with more practice.
The elementary schools are a blast. I had no idea that I would have this
much fun with the little brats. I like them a lot too. I wonder if it is
strange that I tend to gravitate towards the class clowns. You will
probably hear much of Jenna and Jeneh quite a bit in the future. Jordan
will probably tend to receive much attention. I wonder if it is strange
that those characters are all cello players."
Sorry about posting these in both week one and two. What with the weather
and cancellations and such I wasn't sure what was what."
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 10:23 CST
"1. I learned...
-to be strict and consistent with discipline
-to have fun while singing or playing music
-that teaching is about relationships with others
2. My concerns are...
-Making sure that I have control over the sixth grade class
-learning all of their names will be hard
-I want to be a good teacher
3. Further concerns...
I really like it where I am teaching and I am already getting to do a lot
of teaching. Right now I'm kind of stressed out with how much that I am
doing. I hope that I will be able to handle it. I have been really tired
and this is hard, but I really love the kids and I love teaching them
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 10:04 CST
"1. What I learned
-Take whatever each situation gives you and go with it. I guess I
didn't really learn that, but I encountered it.
-Take full advantage of every extra minute of planning you get. " "
-It's better for the high school kids to see you as being yourself than
to see you as trying to be mister professional. Find a happy medium. " "
-Staying on top of the planning/getting enough rest balance
-There are so many kids, so many names...and then the parents! Oy!
-I am having a great time with my teacher. I need to watch out for
having 'too good of a time' with him. We get along very well, and our senses
of humor really click. There seems to be a certain distance from which all
of this needs to happen.
3. Further thoughts
-Everything has been going very well. I will be really busy, as I am
studying with one teacher, but rotating among 4 schools with him.
-I am doing a great array of tasks, including conducting a group, doing
history for another, and doing sectionals for others. I am also, much to my
comfort, being eased into all of them.
-The kids are great, especially the high school kids. I am looking
forward to the coming months with them.
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 9:57 CST
"Week one (thanks to the weather) provided a reality check by presenting
several problems high school teachers are faced with. By the end of the
week I had already dealt with remodeling, auditions, and fund-raising. On
day two we were met with a crew of construction workers instructing us to
empty the room of its contents, causing us to move everything to the
auditorium and plan on conducting class from that location. Wednesday and
Thursday we auditioned solo acts for the upcoming variety show, and by
Friday we were selling chocolate bars.
One thing to learn out of these experiences is that you've got to remain
focused even when faced with unsuspecting turns such as losing your room
and office. Fortunately for us, plans were to allow the students to
practice for their auditions, so no rehearsal time was really lost"
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 9:39 CST
"I have learned:
-5th and 6th grade band can be a lot of fun if you can stand the sound
- you can get 100 7th and 8th grade students to focus for 20 minutes at a
time (you have to kepp them playing almost all of the time!)
-the more you talk to the kids outside of class the easier it is to learn
- keeping students playing or singing is the best way to avoid them
getting into trouble
I am very excited about this experience. My cooperating teacher does a
really good job of asking what I would do in a situation. I have already
been exposed to parent teacher confrences, and dealing with several
housecleaning duties. Everyday is interesting and different to say the
Shannon L. Williams,
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 8:56 CST
"1)What I learned:
-The young kids are much more capable of completing tasks then I
thought they would be. I have learned that they catch on very quickly.
-Having students do a task alone, such as singing or playing an
instrument, lets you know who is catching on, and who is not getting it.
Once, you know who's not getting it, you can help them and they can
achieve the goal at hand.
-Sitting the kids in a semi-circle is a great way to have quick access
to all of the sudents.
-I need to learn how to use a firmer voice with students. I get them
to settle down, but I need to become more efficient at it.
3.) Other thoughts:
I love the school I am at. The school has a great discipline plan, and
all of the teachers adhere to it. I have already learned so much from my
teacher. My teacher has so many great resources and ideas because she has
been teaching for quite a while. I am having a great time teaching
elementary children, and I think that it is exactly what I want to do.
Its much more fun then junior high was (for me at least). I hope everyone
else is having a good time"
Sara K. Bradstreet,
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 7:01 CST
"I have learned so much in the past week. I really feel like this is very
beneficial. We have done a lot of discussing and my cooperating teacher
has done well making sure I know all of the ?extra? things that we do as
music teachers. Filling out paperwork, requesting busses, giving extra
lessons after school, dealing with administrators, and dealing with other
teachers in the school can all be quite time consuming. I am also learning
how difficult it is to spend much of our planning time in the car traveling
from school to school. I see what a nightmare scheduling can be!! I have
one question that possibly someone can help with. I?m conducting an
arrangement of ?Shenandoah? with the seventh grade choir. It is a
beautiful piece, but the kids aren?t responding very well because it?s
?boring? and ?slow.? Do you have any suggestions on how to make this piece
more exciting and fun for the students? Oh, and high school students
aren?t near as scary as I thought they would be!!"
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 6:57 CST
"I learned that lesson planning and organization take up a huge amount of
time and that actually teaching is much easier.
I'm concerned about learning anybody's name. There are about 550 kids at
the elementary school and 150 at the high school classes I'm seeing. I
wish we had "How to remember kids names 101" in school. I've come down
with a vicious cold that has been going aroung the school, even though I
was consuming vit. C like it was going out of style. Oh well, if I get it
over with now, maybe I can be well the rest of the year. "
Feb 10 2002, Sunday 5:15 CST