I have completed teaching one week of school. I am tired. I admit, it was overwhelming at first. And when I say overwhelming, I'm not even talking about the teaching part. Praise God I had enough sense to plan 2 months worth of lessons this summer and took a week before I started to get my rooms ready. We were not given nearly enough time in our classrooms to do all that. All the new teacher meetings, then building meetings the next week before school just overloaded me with TONS of housekeeping stuff. I am still trying to get caught up in paperwork and trying to memorize what seems like tons of different schedules and duties.
All together I am teaching 25 classes between my two schools. My class sizes at the primary are around 20 students. My classes at my intermediate school are much larger, with as many as 29. They are big classes folks. Thankfully, many of my 6th graders switched to band this week, since they were just given the opportunity to do so. This has helped a lot! Unfortunately, the kiddos who are left are a mixed bunch. I have some kids who honestly don't think of music as their cup of tea and others, who like music and want to be in choir. Convincing the kiddos who don't care for music to like music is tough. I have several joksters in those classes, so I have to be on top of my game to keep things in check. I'm up for the challenge though. It's just very different than what I've done before.
I was spoiled when I taught orchestra in KS. I had small classes and the kids who took my class all wanted to be there. I also got to keep my kiddos for 4 years so memorizing names wasn't hard at all. Honeslty speaking, I'm really fearful I'll never get all my current students' names down by the end of the first semester. There's so many! Classroom management is so hard when you don't know their names. I'm trying. Seeing them only once a week too makes that even more difficult! Thankfully, I am commanding enough in front of a class, that I can still keep things in check even without knowing every single name, but the sooner I learn them, the better.
I feel like I'm a better teacher than I was years ago simply because now I come to the table as a parent. Being a parent and a daycare/preschool teacher for the last 7 years has taught me SO SO much! Most of it transpires to teaching just about any grade and anything. It's almost as if God used everything I've done to prepare for this time and these kids.
I wasn't the slightest bit nervous on my first day of actual teaching. Felt like putting on an old glove. Thankful for my time at the private school last year. I got all my "back to work" jitters out then. I have recieved nothing but very positive feedback from so many folks: parents, students, teachers, and even my boss. My highlight moment was hearing my boss say, "You've got the goods sisters. Watching those kids watch you was like watching magic!" Sigh. It's good to hear those kind of things. It keeps me going and wanting to get better and better.
I posted something about this on facebook, but I'll put it on my blog too because it meant so much to me. We had a district devotion before school started. It was optional, of course, it is a public school after all. The speaker mentioned how God has picked us for these particular kids RIGHT NOW. That statement hit me so hard. It was hard not to let the tears start flowing. At the time I had just found out that I had 559 students. It blew my mind. God picked me, to impact 559 lives this year. Holy Moly! I felt pretty special that he would entrust me to me so many little lives to touch! What a responsibility! What an honor to be chosen. Sigh!
I pray I will always stay passionate. I pray I will continue to grow as a teacher. I pray I will continue to always do what is in the best interest of my students. This is going to be a little bit stressful year simply because it's my first time in this district and working with this particular curriculum. But honestly, I'm very happy about it all. I enjoy teaching general music. I wonder if I will, in fact, prefer to teach this over orchestra in time simply because of the variety of things I can teach in this class. Orchestra is very focused. I will always miss smaller class sizes and the type of students orchestra attracts, but this is going to be fun too!
So if you don't hear from me much for awhile, it's because I'm still treading water at work. Eventually things will calm down. I'll try to post more when that time comes.