It is officially summer for me!
Good lord, you do not understand the rejoicing.
Nobody loves summer break more than teachers.
My principal is pretty cool. The kiddos had a half day but we had to stay a full day. So we finished our day at a restaurant where we only had to pay for drinks and not for food or appetizers.
You know, when my staff is out with each other and eating and drinking and having a good time, we actually get along great. I wish this extended into the classrooms but you know, you can’t win it all.
I still have to go in Monday morning to check out, but that’s not a big deal at all. I’ll be out around 11 probably. And then we’re going out with some of Tom’s coworkers to extra celebrate.
So now for more rejoicing! 10 weeks of glorious summer!
My kids are too old
My fifth graders came into chorus giggling because they found a condom in the playground (they wouldn’t say the word at first because they knew it was a ‘dirty’ word”.
Then one of them starts singing this new song “Kisses down low” which I guess plays on the radio even though it’s hard not to know EXACTLY what it’s referring to. I had to keep stopping them because that girl got it stuck in everyone’s heads because I guess they all have heard it before. Ew. Why’s that even on the radio? Gross gross gross.
No wonder all these kids end up pregnant/knocking someone up so young. Nobody shields them from things too mature for them.0
A haiku on the last few weeks of school
May still has four weeks
And then another in June
I really can’t deal
Students are crazy
They lose all good behavior
I will lock them out
I sit at my desk
And I contemplate my life
Oh lord, I give up
Monday is too soon
My alarm will remind me
I can’t leave my bed
Nope nope nope nope nope
Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope
Nope nope nope nope nope
Some things i have discovered while urban teaching music
Fifth graders do not like Metallica. First graders do, especially “Enter Sandman”.
Bluegrass > country
Fifth graders like Verdi’s “Dies Irae”
You will be begged to watch Annie
Boys are more open to the Nutcracker if you show them sections where the male is lifting the female a lot (ex. The Arabian Dance)
If you talk about how ballet dancers dance on their toes, be prepared for half the class (mostly boys) to try it and fall on the ground.
Students will whine about doing rhythm cards until you put a backbeat to it.
Students like to show off; bring in an audience (principal/teacher/secretary/ etc) and they will automatically use their best effort. PS It’s not just you; they will do it to everyone
If you have a dreidel in your hand, their listening skills multiply X3
Young children will dance to anything
Turn it into a game and they will learn it much faster
Kids can pronounce my name easily and will correct adults
You will want to scoop a few kids up and take them home instead of giving them back to their parents
The child has been molded by the parent; children are not “bad” by default
Instruments are a good bribing method
Hugs will make your day
Sometime all kids need is someone who will listen
And the stories they have will break your heart
With music, sometimes the best way to teach is just through exposure
Play is often a greater teaching tool than you gabbing
Seeing children teach each other while you simply monitor makes you feel like Superman
Seeing other teachers as exasperated as you are makes you feel a heck of a lot better
Children can have two faces; one with their peers, and one with you. The second one is the more honest one.
If you play/sing for your kids, it will probably blow their minds
Not every day will be productive, especially during testing or right before a break. That’s okay.
Lesson plans are not set in stone. Not even close.
I stutter a lot and the kids either don’t notice or don’t care
Utilize student helpers; make it something to be earned rather than something given for a favorite
IF you feel crappy, remember how you felt your first day and realize how far you have come.
I’ve seen a lot of talk online about how boys don’t like books and movies with a female protagonist.
From experience, I have found something that my male and female students like equally.
And that is Disney’s Brave.
My kiddos love it. In one class, the kid most excited to watch it was a boy.
Just an FYI
PS. We had testing one day in the computer lab next to my classroom, and administration recommended a movie because we couldn’t make any extra noise. So I turned this movie into a Scottish culture/Celtic music unit with second grade. They can now identify Irish flute, bagpipe, fiddle, and pipe band drumming by ear.
I’m too stubborn to be forced to just watch a movie haha5
I want to find all the parents who teach their kids laziness. The ones who teach their kids to quit and that being lazy and quitting things and skipping class and breaking rules is “cool” and now bad=cool. It makes me so mad.
I had 15 kids in chorus a few weeks ago. Now only five show up. And apparently the other kids are bullying them into skipping because my chorus is now boring, lame, and stupid.
I almost cried out of frustration. I went to my principal. She wants a chorus so she said she’ll do something but I highly doubt that will happen. I’m angry.
I don’t even know what to do because children aren’t taught discipline anymore. They aren’t taught that you have to work and earn things.They are taught hip hop and rap and breaking rules is cool and swearing is cool and school doesn’t matter. And they wonder why middle schoolers are getting arrested and our prisons are being filled with kids from the urban schools.
They wonder why teachers only stay in these schools for a few years but it’s hard to do your job when the kids are fighting and talking overtop of you like you aren’t even there and don’t even try and whine and complain about everything. And sometimes you can’t even leave it at school and it comes home with you and wonder why it’s not better and why you are not happy and why you even did this in the first place and debate about leaving every time your head hits the pillow. But you have bills and loan payments and a car and medications and nobody back home wants to hire you because they don’t find music important anymore.
And yet people see these movies about people coming into an urban school and changing things and they expect everyone to be able to do that and when you don’t they look down on you and blame you for the behavior and grades of your children.
It’s not me. I can’t combat culture. I can’t fight the radio and the tv and the parents and the ideas that these kids are told are truth. I can’t do it all.
It’s not me. It’s the home. The parents. The culture. But certainly not me.
It’s a whole lot bigger than my chorus.
I just can’t even deal.1
You know spring break is over when you go out for recess and see more kids on the wall than playing.
One of my students said she wanted to go to high school online instead of regular school.
I asked her why.
She said, “Because kids in high school get shot”.
Remember this when you want to complain about high school and be thankful that this wasn’t your reality (and if it was, I am very sorry. I wish things were better).0
You take beats, melodies, vocals, and effects and layer them on top of each other. You mix and match to create unique rhythmic and melodic patterns sung to you by little beatboxing cartoon guys.
If you used the right combinations of beats and things, you can unlock music videos (which I didn’t know until my students figured it out!) You can record them so they will play back to you. You can also download and share them if you wanted.
It is a great tool to use when teaching about composition because it lets them compose without them getting frustrated about it.
Your kids will love it. They will constantly bother you to hear what they have created. They will jam to it in groups. Some will even try to rap overtop of their creations. They will write it down to take it home. The best thing is that they are creating music and they are very excited and proud of it (and don’t always realize what they are learning!)
PS. My principal came in while the class was doing this and she loved it. So it is administration approved.5