ReBand…A New School Year, A New Gig

September 25, 2008

Let the Parent Phone Calls Begin!!! (and they have)

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An explanation is for the title is in order I suppose. In the area that I teach, the beginning band teacher assigns instruments to students, the students and family do not have total choice. I finally finished the 6th grade testing and now have determined and distributed the instrument selections for each student. Obviously I’m not going to make everyone happy. Unhappy (or disappointed) kids equal unhappy or frustrated parents equal parent phone calls and emails to me…and like I said in the title of this little post, they have.

First I’ll freely admit that my testing process and instrument selection method is or may be flawed. Perhaps my reader (thanks mom) would care to weigh in on it as I’ll describe it. Don’t hold back, I want to try to fix it so I have fewer problems in the future. (more…)

September 17, 2008

Pep Rally Tomorrow!!!

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Tomorrow I begin my further indoctrination into the life of a middle school teacher. I have my first MS pep rally. The last place that I taught middle school they didn’t have pep rallies because they thought that the kids might riot. I guess that might be part of the reason I’m not exactly pumped up about ours tomorrow. One of the other reason is that there is not a schedule yet. Yep, the thing is tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have that, you know, BY THE TIME THE THING IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!!! I emailed the cheer coach who is supposedly in charge of this little horror-in-waiting and got a response back that she was working on it. OooooooooooKay. For these things I have to set up the band chairs and stands and get the 8th grade band to play a few numbers while only the cheer coach seems to know what else is going on. I’m honestly not at all sure what to expect from this little event. Hopefully the rest of the day will allow me to accomplish some things. I can stand pep rallies only slightly better than picture days. (more…)

September 13, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust (and other Queen references)

Weekends come and go, but I’m glad I have this one. After not posting for the week, I’ll lay it all out. Going into this new week (week 4) I’m a bit more prepared and am looking forward to getting things going, after all The Show Must Go On and in some cases just begin. I was hopeful that this week would see some progress in playing, great progress in the instrument testing process for beginning band students, and a bit better mindset than what I left the last week with. To some degree all of those things have happened.

The playing progress is probably happening, but sometimes I feel like I’m Going Slightly Mad. The 8th graders now have all the tunes that they need to have to play at pep rallies and the football games that they have to play for. They aren’t good at them yet, but for this point in our schedule for needing to know them, we’ll be OK. We have a pep rally on Wednesday and I really don’t have much of an idea of what to expect from a MS pep rally. (more…)

September 7, 2008

The Vice Principal Talk

Some things to keep in mind when you get a new band job:

1. You have to train help your administrators to understand how you (a new person) will in almost every circumstance have a influence and at least a slight change on the current program, you know, because you’re not a clone of the last director.

2. Know you’re going to have the a similar exchange as the one below, probably after school Friday of the second week.

Vice principal: So, how do you think things have been going? (Loaded question) (more…)

September 5, 2008

One Cried, Then I Wanted To

The week has ended. This week I survived fire drills and picture day and was in fairly good spirits heading into Friday morning. Today was the second day of introduction woodwind testing and it had gone pretty well to that point. The first period class went pretty well until a sixth grade boy came back to my testing area (not doing his worksheets) just sobbing. I have small children, I understand sobbing, this was worse, completely uncontrollable. After several minutes of him looking at me and sobbing without attempting in any regard to tell me what was the matter or acknowledging my questions, I finally found out that he was so upset because he had forgotten an assignment for a class later in the day. I let that set into my mind a bit, was thankful that he hadn’t been hit by another student or been abused in any way before I became just flabbergasted that it was such a big deal to a 6th grade boy to forget his homework. I finally forced a smile while I wanted to cry because I was so delayed continuing my testing, told the child that it would be OK, and to go back to his seat. He smiled and sat down. I have so much to learn about teaching middle school. That boy will probably play horn. After the delay I got back to testing and only got through half the students I had hoped to. No water works the second 6th grade class…awesome. (more…)

August 22, 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

Here we go. It’s the weekend before first day with kids. Monday is starts a new year with students and this weekend I’m taking it easy…mostly. After a week of in-service (which amounted to one faculty meeting, time in the room and 15 hours of open houses). We are apparently ready to start the year. I have done some things to try to prepare for the new things that I have felt unprepared for. I had a few meetings/phone calls with other local ms band directors and picked their brains and materials as clean as I could. Monday shouldn’t be a big deal as I’m sure I’ll be going over rules, procedures, policies, and doing some get to know you stuff. That being said, I am sure that not everything will go as planned. Already I have 2 invoices that have come it from the previous year that will most likely have to come out of this year’s rather small budget. (more…)

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