Last year, I wrote a post about some common experiences during the first week of elementary general music classes. This year’s installment is part two. I hope that you enjoy and add your own.
This is the wonderful time of year when your expectations are high as you dream about how wonderful your classes, informances, concerts, etc are going to be this year. And then it hits you. You work your first week of school and reality sets in.
You Might Be Teaching Your 1st Week of Elementary General Music Classes if…
- The students who have not seen you since May/June hug you like you’re their favorite aunt/uncle who gives them candy all of the time. They smile and shout out to you, “I missed you!” (Love this!)
- You lose weight during your first week because you can travel from one classroom to the next or to the bathroom and back in one minute flat!
- After one day, your voice is hoarse.
- After one week, you are thankful for the weekend so you can hopefully rest your voice.
- You frantically look at pinterest to find ideas for the concert that is three months away. No wait. You recall that you have already planned your concert which is three months away because you became addicted to pinterest over the past school year or summer. You also now have 40 new recipes to try and would like to redecorate numerous rooms in your house.
- When you are at home, you begin to scan for the “potty dance” from your children, spouse, and pet because you are an expert at this.
- When you go to the grocery store, you have to fight the urge to fix the chaotic lines at the checkout counter.
- You join the music teachers facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/musicpln/) and the general music teachers facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/generalmusic/) because you need to seek comfort and advice from other music educators. You are thrilled when many music educators from these groups can empathize and give great advice.
- You wonder if there is such a thing as a caffeine IV drip.
- Your non-teaching friends (you actually have some??) know that they will not see you again until holiday break.
- You wonder if Halloween will return this year (my East Coast friends know what I mean)…
- You begin creating orffestrations/dances/songs/ukelele arrangements/etc in your head and look for anything to write them down. You find a lipstick and a receipt. That will work well.
- You are trying to figure out how to arrange the music from the Target commercials so that your 3rd graders can perform them at the next concert.
- Your desk, which was clear and spotless on the first day of school, is now hidden under piles of papers and music. It will remain that way for the remainder of the school year.
- Since female elementary music educators sing, move, perform, etc with the students, that dress you wore on the first day of school will be worn again on the last day of school. Until then, comfortable pants and shoes will help keep up with the students.
- You love your job! Personally, teaching elementary general music means that you teach students who are little sponges and love music as much as you do.
I wish you all a wonderful school year filled with many smiles from young students who love what you teach them and what you do for them in your classroom!
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com