Saturday, September 8, 2012

Livin' La Vida Teacher

Well, I made it.

When they say the learning curve your first year teaching is steep....they don't say how steep.  We're talking like 98% gradient. Straight. Up.

But it's good.
Well, it's getting good.

I'm new. The kids know that and they're testing me.  I also have very different expectations than the previous band director (or so I'm learning).

To date, I feel more comfortable with 2-8th graders than I thought I would.  Though I still struggle with the younger ages.  I didn't think I had to come down hard on the younger ages, but from what the experienced teachers are telling me, I do.

What else I've learned:
- What works for one class of 1st graders probably won't for the second. So always have about ten different activities in the back of your mind.
- Organization is key
- Communication is key
- Love your administrative assistants
-....and your maintenance man (my guy, Andy, is awesome)
- Don't take gruff from anyone
- Sometimes, those kids, they're just gonna cry. Let the tears flow. They won't screw around again after that.

But, as it is Saturday, and I sit at a local coffee shop (certainly not my favourite, but right now they boyfriend is employed here and got called in to work on his morning off wherein we were going to have a date with fresh, homemade caramel rolls.........long story...anyway, here I am) grading papers and doing some other "office type" work for class, I'm pretty darn happy.  I feel content.  I can remember being 9 years old and giving my younger brother "lessons" in math and reading and enjoying teaching him and grading him so much.  This is just like a "grown up" version of that.

The lady next to me just dropped an olive all down her front. Aww shucks woman. Your white shirt isn't so white anymore.

Sarcasm. Sorry.

In continuing with the verbal vomit, maybe I'll explain why I don't care for this particular coffee shop.
Croissants? Oh yea, $4-6 (and they're not nearly as good as QCB's in SF...thus, in my mind, they're not worth that much).
A Slice of Quiche? $6
1 Cup of Pour-Over Coffee (12oz) $2 (it's mediocre)
Pizza? $9-17 (it's not filling)

You get the idea. Not the quality nor the quantity deserved for what you're paying. (In my mind).

So who would pay that kind of money? The yuppies of Bozo.  I really have a hard time appreciating people who buy fancy things at expensive places just because they're perceived as "fancy" by the society.

The "I eat here because it makes me seem high class" mentality.

But maybe that's just because I believe in the "I eat here because the food is good, good for me, and it supports the local community" mentality.

And I'm bitter that the place called Nathan in to work when we were supposed to have a date morning.
Caramel rolls from scratch aren't easy, my friends. They're time consuming. And not fun to eat alone.

Lesson for the week:
1) Caramel Roll dates are likely to be interrupted. Don't do 'em. Make the rolls for co-workers.
2) Puppies continue to kick butt (Koda is awesome and loving it out here).
3) Yuppies are Nopeys.
4) Kiddos grow on you. But some of them take a reallllly long time.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Just under 2 weeks ago (already 2 weeks, wow) I moved to Bozeman, Montana for a teaching job.

The first week I was here was spent with Nathan and Koda, getting to know the area.  I also spent that week at the school I'm working for.  I walked into a situation where the previous band director and I have completely different organizational styles, and so it seemed like there was a lot to do.  I spent most of those days cleaning, organizing, and trying to figure out what I was going to do.

Last week was all PIR days at the school.  Those involved a learning curve that was steeper than any of the mountains around here, meeting the staff (who all seem fantastic), and working on the classroom.  I feel so thankful to be at the school I am.  The Superintendent, the Principal, and all of the staff are exceptionally welcoming and supportive of the music program.  I feel so lucky.

My parents came up this weekend with a U-Haul full of stuff from South Dakota.  I'm not good with "Good-Bye's" in general. Normally I just get really awkward and walk away quickly. But, with parents, it's more a tear-jerker situation.  I love them and am so thankful for their support.

That's all I'm going to say, because words aren't going to do any justice.

Now, I'm sitting at Rockford Coffee with Nathan, writing a blog while I should work on lesson plans. Really, I'm just trying to process this entire transition. It's quite a lot.