Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Day in the Life #51

Hi everyone!  I'm back - hopefully for good, even if I'm betting I'm still going to be posting rather sporadically.  But I'm going to try and post at least once a month, you know, just to prove I'm still alive. 

I think my sudden burst of creativity has come from the fact that I just had my third observation (and it went well yay!)  (Observations are where an administrator watches you teach a class and evaluates you) I don't think I realized how much stress I was carrying about it.  My first observation happened right before winter break and it did NOT go well.  It was an observation of my exploratory classes, which I am brand new to teaching.  None of what I did in student teaching or teaching last year had to do with regular classroom management or strategies for classroom teaching.  Teaching instrumental music is just a completely different beast.  Exploratory music is this weird hybrid where it's like combining a regular class but also giving the kids instruments.  I don't really know how to explain the difference - it's not class size. I mean, yeah most of my instrumental classes have less than 10 kids in them, but I also taught a class with 68 students in it last year.  All at the same time.  I think it's because exploratory music isn't a performance based class, but the kids are supposed to perform so the stuff that ISN'T about performing is sometimes a struggle for me.  So exploratory classes can be a huge mess.  So in some ways I'm glad it was my first observation, because it motivated me to get my shit together. 

On the upside a week later I had an instrumental class at a different school observed, and I got the highest score you can get across the board.  But then, I've never had concerns about teaching instrumental music really.  I know how to fix things when I feel like things didn't go well.  So this week was my third observation, and I was super nervous about it because it was another observation of an exploratory class.  But this time it wasn't one of terrible classes (my exploratory classes on any given day at my first school are rough), it was one of my best exploratory classes which helped boost my confidence a bit.  And it went really, really well!  The kids were awesome (they're always awesome in that class).  The principal didn't have anything I needed to improve on so I'm hoping I get the highest score for this observation, but as long as I get marked efficient (the second highest score) I'll be happy!  And it seems unlikely I'll be marked lower.

SO YAY! CELEBRATE!!!  I only have one more observation left, and even if I for some unknown tank the last observation, it should average out to an overall rating of efficient for the year.  I'M HOME FREE!!!  Sort of.  I mean I do still have to be observed, and I do have my spring concerts to arrange (probably seven again *sobs*) 

It also probably helps that I basically haven't had a full week of school in forever.  Between the snow days, long weekends, and me getting a stomach virus I think I've only had two weeks where I taught all five days.  I literally taught two and a half days this week.  It's probably the first time I've actually felt like I had a really cushy job haha!  I mean...I'm probably not going to have a spring break at all, so there's that.

In any case, things are going really well!  I hope all of you are having as stress free a winter as me :).  And to prove I've been lurking around reading blogs, even if I haven't been writing - here's like three months worth of interesting links!

Bookish Lists

- G.G. lists the 10 Best Podcasts for Romance Readers.
- Judith names the 9 Best Queer Book Releases of January 2018.
- Leah and Natalie share SFF that's Sexier (and Healthier) than 50 Shades.
- James is trying to Fight Erasure: Women SF Writer's of the 1970's (A-F).

Tamora Pierce

- Meghan Ball writes basically everything I've ever felt about Tamora Pierce.
- Josephine Wolff writes more of basically everything I've ever felt about Tamora Pierce.
- Adventures in YA Publishing interview Tamora Pierce about A Spy's Guide to Tortall.
- Natalie writes “Fantasy is the Realm of Idealism”: Tamora Pierce in Conversation with the Female Fantasy Authors She Inspired.
- If you ever wanted to know which actor was Tamora Pierce's inspiration for Lord Wyldon...

Other Authors

- Leah interviews Brooke Bolander, Maria Dahvana Headley, and Amal El-Mohtar, authors of an alternate history novella.
- Seanan Maguire Learned How to Write Fluffy, Glittery Violence - from My Little Pony.
- Marie Brennan demonstrates How to Fight in a Victorian Dress
- Katharine Ashe on the art of mixing genres.
- Meg Cabot shares How Princess Leia Changed Her Life.
- The Book Wars interview Axie Oh (author of Rebel Seoul).

Bookish Things

- Mimi gives A Short History of Southern Asian Speculative Fiction.
- Natalie discusses Giving the Gift of Fanfiction.
- Heather shares the Joy of the Underrated Book.
- Alvaro gives Stats on How Authors Use Language.
- Heather states Adult Books Are Not All Miserable Marriages.
- Annemieke shares her Reading Journey with her year-old son.
- Stubby the Rocket gives us details on the Black Mirror book!
- McIntosh discusses the Nurturing, Empathetic Masculinity of Newt Scamander.

Nonbookish Things

- I literally spent a good portion of last year thinking West Side Story was well overdue for a remake!
- Emily shares Little Known Facts About The Princess Bride.
- Samantha says that When the Educational System Failed Her, Neopets Was There. (A sentiment I can sympathize with)
- Michael Livingston (who lectures about Medieval history) defends his favourite Medieval film: A Knight's Tale.
- Stephanie shares How the Most Progressive Moments in Her Favourite Cartoons Shaped Her Feminism.
- Kaila talks about how girls ACTUALLY play with dolls. (YES. THIS WAS ME SO MUCH.  I thought I was a weirdo and the only one!)
- Leigh has a nostalgia rewatch of The Fifth Element.
- Eric discusses his complicated relation ship with Miss Saigon.
- Leah says Studio Ghibli's original pairing of Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbor Totoro was....not a good idea.


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