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Thursday, September 05, 2013

First Week Reflections

One more class, and then it's the weekend! (It's Thursday, around lunchtime at the moment).

I am so happy to say that the first week of school went well! Of course, there were parts that could gone more smoothly, but that's life.

I think I'm going to enjoy all my classes. I have such a wide variety - Grade 7 Beginning Band, Grade 8 General Music with the class being 3/4 boisterous boys, Grade 9 Music (who I've only seen once), Grade 10 Music, and Grade 11 International Baccalaureate Music. On one hand, I'm really glad I have the variety, because it makes the day much more interesting to teach a wide variety of concepts to different ages and abilities. On the other hand, compared to the teachers I was with during student teaching, I think this is going to a lot more preparatory work. I don't mean this an insult, but I think it's a lot easier to plan day-to-day for 5 band classes, or 5 choir classes than 5 separate classes, especially when the repertoire drives a lot of the instruction. 

I'm really looking forward to taking time this weekend and really working on long-term plans for my classes - units, assignments and assessments, day-to-day plans, etc. This week was a lot of introduction activities, such as musical surveys and diagnostic tests, but I found planning everything day-to-day to be frustrating. I would rather take a larger chunk of time and plan more long-term than do a bit of planning of every day. 

I also have been having trouble doing a lot of planning and preparatory work while actually at school on my prep periods. I'm not sure why - perhaps it's because I'm in my room, not in my office? I'm not sure, but I seem to be much more productive while working on my laptop while sitting in bed, late at night. This is NOT a habit that I want to get into, as I have been exhausted this week. I know I will get into a routine, as going to be at 12:30 - 1:30 and getting up at 6:00 is not a sustainable routine. My goal for the weekend is to sleep in until 9:00, possibly 10:00. I did go shopping for school supplies earlier this week (both at our school store and for myself), and I finally feel much more organized now that I have a binder with daily plans, etc. Here's a picture of my desk in my office, looking much better than it did before!

Check out the two ringed binder!!!!! I find it so strange.

My department (Creative Arts) will also eventually get desks in our Departmental Office space - I'm looking forward to that!       

I'm also continually on the hunt for resources. I found a bunch of wonderful IB resources last night, and again, am looking forward to having the time this weekend to go through them and try to make a tentative two-year plan for the IB students!

My grade 8s are coming in 15 minutes - we're starting our rhythm unit today. I know it's late on a Thursday (Canadian teacher: translate to Friday), but I'm going to be strict today, because I sense that these boys will continue to be boisterous unless I put a stop to it right now. It's only their second lesson, so we'll have to establish routines!

I hope all my fellow new teachers are having a great week with their students!! I believe they are able to start their second or third day with their students :)

Have a great weekend, everybody! Here's a few pictures I took of the actual school this week.

 Looking toward the main building of school. The Elementary wing is on our left, and the Secondary wing is on our right. 

I took this one while on lunch duty in 44 degree Celsius heat! The new Multi-Purpose Hall (where I spend 90%) of my time is the building in the background with the big black glass windows. The cafeteria is front of that, and the gym is to the right (where my roommate lives!). I have to walk this stretch frequently from the main building to the Multi-Purpose Hall!

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