ReBand…A New School Year, A New Gig

September 25, 2008

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 10:27 pm
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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 21, 2008

I Was Right Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 10:40 pm

Like I expected, I’m not fond of middle school pep rallies. It was mostly people encouraging the 6-8th graders to scream their little heads off and being upset when they wouldn’t until you wanted them to watch something or tell them something and then being upset when they wouldn’t stop screaming their little heads off. On the up side, you can always rely on the “Hey Song” to bring a crowd together. (more…)

September 17, 2008

Pep Rally Tomorrow!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 9:44 pm
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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 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…)

September 3, 2008

I Was Right

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 8:54 pm
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About what I wrote about picture day yesterday, yeah, I was right. I hate picture day.

The day was a waste mostly. Picture day included all the non core class teachers spending most of the day in the gym hoping that the kids wouldn’t hurt themselves as they bounced off the walls while waiting for their group to be called to stand in line for pictures. I did get to play a bit with 7th and 8th grade. In 8th grade, some progress was made. In 7th grade, progress was also made, but mostly in learning what the kids didn’t know. For instance, all the clarinets in the 7th grade who were in a different school last year know zero fingerings above the break or below C below the staff. The flutes are apparently immune to key signatures and the saxes aren’t sure of fingerings such as the very tricky (rolled eyes) Bb. The first order of business tomorrow morning will be to get fingering charts printed for that 7th grade woodwind class. It seems that this is going to be every bit the challenge that I thought it would be.

September 2, 2008

Tomorrow is Picture Day!!! (I hate picture day)

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 10:10 pm
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Day 6 has come and gone and things are beginning to settle. That being said, here comes picture day. Before I get to that though, today should at least be discussed. Introducing the instruments to the beginners has been a lot of fun so far, but it sure has taken longer than I had hoped. Again, I’m sure that my expectations are uneducated. This is the first time I have done this. The kids (about 40 in a class) have so many questions and take such a long time looking over the instruments when they are passed around that I haven’t been able to do more than one in a day. Today was clarinet day. It was fun showing them how the embouchure should basically be and playing a little bit for them. It was great seeing their eyes light up as they tried to figure out where their fingers were really supposed to go. I feel like I want to get this stage of introducing and selecting instruments over with, but I know I’m going to miss that wonder and anticipation in their eyes. (more…)

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