Thursday, April 7, 2016

First Year Flashback


Ahhh....the early years.  For me, there's plenty of memories from 1995.  Not only did I graduate and get married within weeks of each other, but I also moved back to my hometown to begin my life-long adventure of teaching.  Welcome to my "flashback."

 1.  What subject/age and where was I teaching?
 I began teaching K-5 music in the hometown where I was raised - a small town south of Dallas, TX.  Funny story...I actually replaced a high school friend's mother who had long taught music.  Talking about BIG shoes to fill.

 2.  What was my first classroom like?
 Actually, the room was awesome.  It was odd shaped, but HUGE.  I remember the students sat on benches that could be moved in and out, or rearranged - about 4 kids to a bench.  They were a nightmare because the kids would wiggle, and the benches would fall over.  Now, we would call that a "safety hazard."  Hahaha.

3.  Was I given supplies and materials?
 I remember having a class set of music text books and some rhythm instruments, also a CD player.  Nothing else really sticks out in my mind.  The room was pretty sparse.

 4.  What do I remember about my first day?
 Other than wondering "what on earth am I going to do with these children?", I don't remember much else.  I think I lived in a fog from then on.

 5.  What was the hardest part of my first year?
 Other than crying A LOT, the hardest part was jumping in and trying to figure out what I was doing without any help.  Many new teachers have the luxury of working with a co-teacher or team.  I was all alone on this journey.
 6.  What was the best part of my first year?
Truly, I think the best part was the end when I could finally look back and reflect on my survival and accomplishments.  Sometimes it's hard to see the good when you're covered in stress during the year.
 7.  What did I discover during my first year that I didn't learn in college or student teaching?
 Pretty much everything.  I learned how to do fundraisers, monthly PTA programs, a large end-of-the-year school-wide program, how to plan, how to communicate with parents (BIGGIE), etc.  College is great for prepping you with knowledge of your content.  Student teaching is great for introducing you to school life, but there's nothing like figuring it out as you go.  That's real life!

 8.  From where did I draw most of my lesson plan inspiration?
 With limited internet resources back then, and few tricks in my bag, most of my first year lesson plans came from the text books.  I pretty much followed it from start to finish.  Now I hardly EVER open a text book.

 9.  What is one thing I know now that I wish I knew then? (except I have more than 1 thing:)
 I wish I had known:  
  • kids are forgiving and certainly won't remember if I make mistakes during my lessons  
  • programs eventually come together - no matter how bad it seems the week before
  • parents want to hear the good things their children do - not just the bad
  • colleagues are willing to be supportive and helpful if they are asked
  • life would be so much easier if only I would delegate
Visit Pitch Publications for more 1st Year Flashbacks from other music educators.

1 comment:

  1. Love this! And I love that you were like me in just opening up that series the first year. :) Then I got real and tossed those aside! Thanks for linking up!