Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Day in the Life #54 In which many things have changed

Also linking up for the Sunday Post at the Caffeinated Reviewer!

I knew I hadn't posted a farewell post or deleted the blog for a reason!  Hello friends and readers who are still around!  It's been a year since my last confession, I have sinned. (Just kidding).  In that year I have lurked on many of your blogs without commenting (deepest apologies), but I've kept adding posts to my weekly round up on the off chance I ever posted one of these again.  But before we get to that...

Last time I posted, I was deeply unhappy with my teaching position (read: being at three different schools, teaching 8 year olds, and having a hugely unsupportive administration and one of the three schools, and a neglectful one at another) and had gone through a major break up.  Since then, I've started dating a really wonderful guy and am teaching in a different school, so all things are looking up!  

I'm teaching orchestra full time at a middle school (which I never would have seen coming in a million years).  They have a very strong music program, a principal who actually majored in music, and middle school is just a MUCH better fit for me age group wise.  (The last part I've always known. I'm too snarky and impatient for elementary school).  I can't tell you how many times my administration has helped support my needs and backed me up in situations my principal at my least favourite elementary school would have blamed me for.  (For one, I had a parent accuse me of losing her child's cello and stealing his bow.  The cello was not lost. Nor was the bow. It's a ridiculous story.)  

The start of the year was CRAZY - my entire cello and half of my bass inventory molded over the summer, which meant I had no instruments for my students.  Which is...kind of a struggle when you teach an instrumental music program. I spent the first month and a half of school driving all over the county during my planning period (instead of planning for any classes/grading) borrowing instruments so that we could start playing.  It was chaotic to say the least.  

It's also a little stressful because I teach 6th and 7th grade world music which is the general music option for students not in band, orchestra, or chorus.  Realistically, it's most frequently the kids with behavioral issues...just in a high concentration.  Most classes have one or two kids who need a little extra support behaviorally, and a few kids who need support because of learning disabilities.  World music classes are more frequently like 4 or 5 kids who will absolutely wreck your class, with about 10 more who need a little extra support behaviorally or for learning disabilities, and then maybe 10 kids who can figure stuff out on their own.  Classroom management in classroom settings is not my strong suit and something I've been working on a lot this year (ie not orchestra - I have no issues with my orchestra classes on that front. But as I've mentioned, classroom style teaching is very different).  Combining a strong need for classroom management with subject matter I've NEVER taught makes things really time consuming on that front, but if there's one thing the previous two years taught me, it's that I can do anything.  If I taught grades 4-12, steel drums, American music, computer music, and exploratory music all within a year with zero background knowledge of how to do so, I can handle a couple world music classes.

So this year has been very work focused since I'm re-learning a whole set of procedures/curriculum/new to the community, etc.  We also put on 2 concerts, take the kids to assessment (where the judges score us and it's a HUGE deal), take the kids to perform at a theme park, and put on a musical.  So to say that the work load has grown is an understatement.  But you know what?  I love it.  I would gladly do this much work because I'm now full time, with full benefits, in a school that supports the arts, with an administration that has an understanding of music.  My coworkers are AMAZING and have helped me so much throughout the year.  I really missed the sense of community you get last year because I was never at a school long enough to get to know anyone really other than the music teachers. still somewhat true at my school, but it's different.  We do everything together, because we do so much work together before and after school.  I am so much happier than I was a year ago. No more finding out about concerts an hour before they happen, or being told you should get a 5th grader to conduct the concert because they moved the date of the concert last minute and it conflicts with one of your other school's concerts.  Life is good, people.

In old news now, Margaret Atwood announced a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale.
Vera and Clare recommend unique books.
James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson Join BBC’s His Dark Materials Drama Series.
Clare lists Movie Adaptations Better Than Their Books.

Veronika wants to know can a ship ruin a book?
Greg discusses monarchy in fantasy.
La La always has good round ups/news/general interesting life/useful reminders (she always reminds me about Sync which you should check out!)

Rachel says Michael Schur (Parks and Rec, Brooklyn 99, The Good Place, The Office) has the most relatable characters.
Halsey Speaks on the Feeling of Having to Validate Your Bisexuality.