One week to go.
One week from today, the halls will be buzzing again, kids and teachers all ready for a new start, the photocopy machine will be working overdrive, and a whole new school year will have begun.
I'm still digging my heels in, trying to slow down the cooler temperatures, shorter days, and calendar pages that are quickly dropping away. It's not just the end of my first proper vacation since junior high that I'm fighting (though yes, there is that, too!). It's strange, I feel like I'm completely unprepared for this year.
This will be my third year of teaching (my goodness... already?!?!), and I'll be teaching music again for the third year. You'd think that I'd have some stuff under my belt and can just start using what I've done the last two years. The thing is, I specialized in teaching French, not music. So even though I do have a bit of a music background from band (and jazz band and marching band... I was a band geek extraordinaire!) through upper elementary school and all the way to the end of first year university, the first year that I taught music, I basically did the same stuff for everyone. This was a great solution for my first year, but of course, I couldn't repeat any of it again the next year, because I would have the same kids, jsut a year older!
I wised up in my second year, and created a number of different programs. There was the kindergarten/grade 1 program, the grade 2/3 program, the 4, 5, 6, and 7 program. The intermediates were similar, but different enough that I could more or less repeat it this coming year with only some modifications.
But I jsut don't know if I have the creative energy to do it all again. Even last year, a lot of the songs and games I did with the primaries was made up. I don't have the base of knowledge that trained music teachers have to draw on, so I would figure out what concept I wanted the kids to work on, and make up a song and/or a game to teach it, often on the spot. Thank goodness for professional development workshops (of which I attented every single one they offered!) - they were and will continue to be my lifeline!
I have grand lofty plans to put together a primary musical this year, and maybe to do a really cool STOMP project with the intermediates, but I just can't seem to figure out where to start.
I also want to start having a consistent group of kids that I teach. I do enjoy teaching music, but with 680 kids that cycle through my room every week, one class and 40 minutes at a time, I don't really get to know them all that well. Last year was great, casue I taught English Language Arts to the French Immersion grade 4's three times a week. That little group of 15 kids really felt like "my" kids. They were a rough class the year before, cause they had been together since kindergarten, so they were split up in 2 grade 3/4 splits last year and were much better, but all I heard from the the other teachers were "sympathetic" comments like, "Oh, you got that group? Well, the newer teachers end up with the not-so-great assignments," or, "Phew, I'm glad you took them... they asked me to do it and I said no way." Too bad for them, they missed out on some great kids!
Methinks it's time to start looking into my own class for next year, or maybe half classroom, half music.
For now, I'm headed in to school today to remind myself that yes, summer is quickly drawing to a close. I'll get a few things in my classroom ready, maybe start some planning (though let's be honest, I'm really going to socialize with the other teachers who are there! :P ).
7 days and counting.....