ReBand…A New School Year, A New Gig

September 23, 2008

All-State Auditions Anyone?

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 8:55 pm

It’s Tuesday and I am getting some things accomplished. It’s a good feeling, but it is a roller coaster for me. I got all of the things needed to get done on Monday ordering shirts, getting things copied, inputting grades, and answering emails. I also tried to teach a bit. I’m really trying to get the 7th and 8th graders to get a stronger foundation on their rhythmical reading. I using 101 Rhythmic Rest Patterns by Grover C. Yaus with both groups. It was in the library and I have enough copies for a classroom set. It’s working pretty well, but I wouldn’t mind a few more exercises on some of the simpler stuff. Hopefully we won’t be there very long though. I’m continuing to get through the 6th grade testing. I think we can finish by the end of the week…maybe. (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 29, 2008

Week One: It’s So Over

OK, I’m glad that’s over. An update to my check predicament, bottom line, I fixed it and it looks like I’ll be fine, but I did mess up. In a totally unrelated subject, today I signed and turned in my union membership papers. Last year I went union free as an assistant, but now that I am the head of a program again, I’m paying the fee. It does give a little more sense of security. Most teachers (I’m told) never have to use it, but I have more than once (twice actually), albeit all for non-student reasons and being deemed in the right in both cases. I personally don’t like the whole union idea, but they can be useful. Now back to the first week.


August 28, 2008

Week One: The End is Near

Filed under: Uncategorized — reband @ 11:20 pm
Tags: ,

Well, I’m starting to see the end of week one approaching. Everything has gone pretty well (except for one thing I’ll touch on later). I only have one class of the 6 that really isn’t seeming to catch the vision of wanting to do things well and cooperating. Of course, the other classes could just be in first week of school mode and really crush my spirit later on. Today we worked for about 10 minutes on breathing in the 7th and 8th grade classes and talked about the woodwind family and a little about the flute in the 6th grade. I’ll finish up with the flute tomorrow and maybe even get to the clarinet. I’ve continued to get a lot of council and guidance from fellow band directors which I am continually grateful for. Once thing that bothers me is that no one I’ve talked to is using any type of rubric for instrument testing (the type to decide what instruments might be best for kids). I have the feeling that this is going to come back and bite someone. I just hope it’s not me. (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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