My First Month
Well it’s Labor Day weekend and I have officially made it through my first month of teaching. Teaching elementary music is simultaneously exactly what I imagined and nothing like I expected. There have been so many happy surprises. I love the kids more than I ever thought I could in such a short time and the relationships I am building with my staff are my lifeline throughout the crazy days. There have also been unexpected challenges; like figuring out how in the world to approach your first experience with SLO’s and what kind magic it takes to make the laminator work.
During these first few weeks, I’ve come upon a few practices that make it all a little bit easier. They say every teacher has her own secret strategies for getting thorough the day while also planning for a successful year. I know I will develop so many more as I live and learn along with my students, but these are my first few.
Actually that’s not true, I like the song just fine. It’s the game that’s the problem. The kids absolutely love it for the same reasons I hate it. There’s running and racing and always a touch of chaos. The noise level is so difficult to manage with my population of kids that it stresses me out and I dread teaching it. So guess what? I stopped. Now, I’m using tools and songs that work for me (like Dinah <3) and leaving out the ones I hate. This makes me a more engaged and joyful teacher.
I had the good fortune to learn how to teach music from the very best of the best. But now, I have to start making my teaching my own. It has been crazy, and messy, and wonderful so far.
Have any new teacher tips? Share them with me in the comments!
9/1/2016 07:50:57 pm
9/1/2016 09:01:36 pm
Yay! I loved reading this. Such great tips for new teachers. AND I agree about not teaching songs/ games you don't love. That's why you never saw me teach "Snail, Snail"! ;) Thanks for writing, I loved reading it!
9/2/2016 06:57:33 pm
It's so great to see your first month is going so well! All those kids probably already love you and can't wait to have you for many more months!
9/4/2016 01:36:06 pm
Agreed. I teach the song Snail but don't do the wind up game. You do what works for you. Certain populations would not be appropriate for 20 Robbers but I can do it at the school I'm teaching at now. When you get to know your kids, you are the best judge of what's appropriate and what they can or cannot handle. Also, I teach using a small headset microphone and it saves my voice. My voice therapist said to use amplification BEFORE you get hoarse or sick and that will make all the difference. Have a great year!
9/4/2016 01:57:57 pm
Thank you for these notes! I am a first-year teacher as well, 3 days a week in 3 different school systems (ugh). I'll definitely be using your name technique! And drinking more water. Always more water.
Leave a Reply.
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."