It wasn’t my idea to present a musical at my elementary school – it was the idea of another musically inclined colleague; however, how could I say no when I was invited to jump on board? Time flew by and this past week, our students had a series of three performances for the public.
“This is too hard!”
“I can’t do this!”
“What note is that?”
These are some of the phrases I hear whenever I had out new music to my Band students. I have to admit in the beginning, these words made me hesitate with my choice of repertoire, but since then, they have proven that these phrases do not last long. Why?
I’m teaching Band! That was my first thought after I accepted my current contract – I’m teaching Band! Plus, since I’m teaching Beginning Band, I get the chance to prune and prepare these students for future band teachers. By the end of the year, my students would know how to set up the classroom, tear down the classroom, always use proper posture, know their hand positions and play without looking down at their fingers. A little ambitious? Perhaps, but it’s only been two months and they have a few more to go; but back to the beginning.
In my first year of teaching, I had some amazing experiences. As a TOC, I had the privilege of visiting different schools almost each day and encounter different types of learning skills as well as uncover some more aspects of my personal teaching style. Most recently, I had the opportunity to teach at an arts integrated school. This is not an arts school and no, they are not the same thing.
Many of you may have noticed the increased media coverage on the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation; or, more accurately, the increased media attention on the disagreements between the BCTF and a current elected body of Canada. A lot has been said and claimed on television and radio, but it is not my job to tell you what is true or not. I’ll say now that this article is not meant to be a political article. I am not writing this to try and sway opinions one way or another – I am simply going to explain what I do each day and why I do it.
I have been a student for almost my entire life – 21 years to be exact (22 if you count preschool). For the majority of that time, I had no idea what I wanted to be. All I knew was that I had classes to get to, homework to finish and eventually, a degree to complete. I spent 22 years on one side of the educational system and now that I’m done, I’m on the other side. I’m a teacher and I love it.
When I finished my practicum this past May, I definitely let out a sigh of relief. I finally had the time to do all the things I had mentioned in my last article – I allowed myself to take a break, reconnect with old friends, get into a regular workout regime and just have fun. The only issue was that by the middle of July, I was bored. I wanted a job! A move to a different city put a temporary hiatus on my plans, but as soon as I was settled in, I started all the things I probably should have done earlier in the summer. I am not implying to disregard all that I mentioned in my last article, but I feel there are 6 basic things to keep in mind when you’re in the process of / just having been hired for a Teacher-On-Call position. Some of these points I did by accident and others were mentioned by peers and mentors.