Sunday, April 26, 2015

Quick, Personal, Gentle Reminder

Dear Andrea -

You love researching things.
You love analyzing data that you've collected.
You love writing papers explaining what you've found and hoping that someone will refute it so that you have to research further.

But you always procrastinate and it always kicks your butt.
Look, you're doing it now.

If you want that dream job of educator/researcher, you've gotta stick on the track and not get distracted by all of the things that Montana has to offer you.  Sure, enjoy them. But don't spend all your time doing those things so that you reach a stale spot in your career and can't move forward.

Alright. Back to writing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

So Passes 7 Months.

7 months later (since my last post). Wow. Multitudes of things have happened in such a short amount of time.

The first trimester of the year was a challenge.  But that's not to say that it was a challenge because of having the utilize an unfamiliar curriculum or learn students' names or even develop a classroom management style/technique.

No. The beginning of the year was a challenge because I was teaching music without a classroom.  Looking back on it now, I can't help but shake my head.  I honestly can't figure out how some music teachers teach without a classroom year round.  I tip my hat to them.

There were struggles beyond not having my own space to set up and manage.  Certain things that I was able to do with my students last year, I couldn't this year.  It was harder to do games (I strongly believe in learning through games, so most of my lessons incorporate a song/activity).  My students' regular classrooms are well set up, but not conducive to jogging/skipping/hopping/lunging/walking/stomping/marching/etc.

I couldn't bring the instruments I wanted the students to use with me everywhere. Some were too bulky, some were in storage (guhh), and some were set aside in the psuedo-band room and unobtainable.

But, for me, the hardest part was not having a place where I could decompress in between teaching.  As much as I love my coworkers (and I really, really do.  They all inspire me and push me to be a better educator every day) - I cannot reboot and maintain the necessary level of energy if I don't have some alone time to process.  It's part of being an introvert in a very social job.  Love my career. Love my reboot time.

I couldn't give before and after school lessons, so students that struggled had no access to me for one-on-one work.  I admire the fortitude of my 5th graders, because they are doing surprisingly well for having a very constrained beginning.  Love those kids.

But, remember, that was just the beginning.
Then there was the Christmas Program....which went I'm not going to say anything more about that.  I'm thankful for all of the help I received and the flexibility of my colleagues in making sure we could do a quick rehearsal the day of the concert.

Then Christmas Break.
Then Big Sky.
Then a trip home!

Second trimester - back in my room - has been a beautiful, beautiful thing.  Students are signing up for lessons left and right (I normally have someone every morning and someone every evening, not counting my own studio).  Students come in just to chat!  I'm forming bonds with these kids that I think we both felt we needed, but couldn't access.

Two weeks ago, I was in Seattle, WA for the Little Flower Yoga Teacher Conference - Level One.  It was a fantastic trip that involved eating good food, drinking good coffee, and meeting beautiful people.  Beyond that, I was able to catch up with folks that I haven't seen in nearly 6 years.  Thank goodness for the connections that technology can make and sustain!

And now it's Spring Break and I'm sitting at Gil's Goods in Livingston after a morning spent outside enjoying the area that I get to live in.  How lucky am I?  Sometimes (this morning was just one of them), I wake up and cannot believe how fortunate I have been.  I was raised in a family that taught me the value of education, supported me in my goals and dreams, didn't drop me like a hot potato when I was a sucky person, and has continued to support me from 808 miles away.

Can You Believe We're Alive?