Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Collecting the golden apples...a labor

Oh friends. I am continually overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work that student teaching involves. I am burnt-out. Thanks be to God, break is next week. But I am exhausted.

Also, there are not very many teaching jobs available. I think I've counted 6 full time positions, 1 maternity leave sub job, and 1 part time job for the county that would be applicable for me. That's not a lot of positions when you think of the entirety of DuPage County.

And as of last night, I learned that the U.S. has more teachers than the population of Latvia (around 3.1 million), so I'm a little nervous about my chances of landing a job. Today alone I have searched for over 4 hours online for job postings. Finding and applying for a job makes me feel like I'm currently being asked to take on one of Hercules' 12 labors. This is especially true when I'm already feeling overburdened.

There is a very real possibility that I will be piece mealing a job together for myself through sub requests. I have to say that this doesn't sound too appealing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Solo flight

Solo flight. That's what today is for me- my coop is not here today so I am managing the classes and teaching on my own. How do I feel about it? Ok. That's all.

It's really challenging to find a balance between me the professional and me the person. Let me explain; I'm obviously a person who is also a professional, my question is though, can I be both things at once without diluting who I am or without neglecting one side or the other?

As a professional, (or teacher), I see myself in regards to the responsibilities I have. I am responsible for teaching the students music, not just the basics, such as technique, rhythm, pitch, etc. but also how to understand, think about, appreciate, and essentially create music. Beyond that I have all the "housekeeping" responsibilities such as keeping order in the class, following national, state, and district outlines of how/what to teach, keeping the room clean, continually enriching my own education, staying organized, planning ahead for the next week (and by week, I really mean at least the semester or year) and much more.

As a person however, my set of responsibilities change and I think in terms of the responsibilities I have to others. I must make sure that I am treating everyone fairly, creating a "safe environment" for the students to learn in, investing in the people, yes people, I am teaching, no serving, quietly modeling appropriate adult behavior and most importantly, living a life that is both serving and pleasing to the Lord.

Looking back on this it's easy to see why I feel so unsteady or unsure on my feet. There is way too much here for anyone to juggle weekly, let alone every 50 minutes of the day.

I can't do all this. Yet this is exactly what I am called to do. Is it any wonder I'm so overwhelmed?

Despite what I've said above, today has gone on just fine. No blood was spilt, no outbursts or tantrums, not even a single complaint about what they were being asked to do (so far, at least).

But somehow I feel like I'm just scrapping by.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thoughts from the other side (aka what teacher's actually think)

Well here we are friends. I'm trying my hand at this thing again and am not sure as to how this will go- if you're reading this, good for you.

Today I taught a subject that I hated (and more importantly did not comprehend): music theory. The most loathed, baffling, tedious subject that I have ever studied. In fact, it's safe to say that the only thing that I can possibly hate more than music theory is math. And that's saying something. Anyways, I reviewed part writing in root position and the various appropriate ways to lead voices and the students seemed to understand it. They all looked like the living dead, (granted it was 7:00am), but they understood it. I was even complimented by my coop teacher that I did a good job on today's lesson- the catch was that I felt like this was a chore. I hated teaching this.

Here's my question- am I suppossed to hate what I teach? What if I just hate a small part of it? That doesn't mean that I'm on the wrong track does it?

My gut tells me no. Maybe I am just supposed to fake it and do what I need to in order to eventually love what I do for a living. This whole process of student teaching has been filled with highs and lows, I'm not surprised by that, I'm getting a little nervous that all my highs have past me by though.

All I can say is that student teaching is hell. At least right now it is.
A smattering of life experiences, insight, random internet finds and anything else that comes to mind as I'm posting. Sometimes funny, sometimes true, sometimes just ridiculous, it's a little bit of everything- from my perspective.