Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wide-Eyed Wonder

A topic that has been on my mind recently is the wide-eyed wonder of the first year teacher.  I became a music teacher at least partly because I had great teachers who shared the joy of music with me.  I strive everyday to share that joy with my students, always wishing that it will last throughout their lifetime.  I certainly never planned for any of my students to become music teachers.  But secretly I have hoped that my classroom might inspire someone else the way I had been inspired by those teachers who were so special to me.

Well lucky me, it happened!  I had the privilege of teaching a student piano lessons from age 5, who also happened to be in a Kodaly inspired music classroom, and was eventually in my own class for a year.  This young lady decided at a pretty young age that she wanted to be an elementary music teacher.  She worked hard as a student, practiced hard as a piano player, and soaked up everything she could from all of her teachers.  That young lady is now in her first year of teaching as an elementary general music teacher.  I always felt that she was an amazing person and would be successful in whatever profession she chose.  I am deeply honored that she considers me a mentor and friend!

It would be easy after 20 years to kick back and do things the way I have always done them.  Instead I have found myself reliving my first year of teaching through her eyes!  Trying to answer her questions and offer her advice has reminded me how important it is for all of us to collaborate and share.  Discussing things with my new colleague has encouraged me to rethink some things that I may have been taking for granted and that has been very enlightening.  Truly effective teachers are aways learning new things and constantly refining their skills.  We should all try to hang on to that wide-eyed wonder and enthusiasm that we had as a first year teacher.  We're lucky that in our careers we can have a positive impact on countless students.  And who knows, maybe one of them will surprise you and become a music teacher!

As I share with a first year teacher, I find myself thinking about those "Aha moments" that we've all had.  And the times I've thought to myself "I wish someone would have told me that earlier!".  

I decided to post a couple tips and tricks for some basic classroom management that might be helpful for teachers in their first year or their thirty first.  These are "freebies" in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/C-Major-Learning

I'm lucky enough to have a Smartboard in my room and I LOVE IT!  If you have access to one there's a couple fun ways to choose groups and pick students in your classroom. 

Something else that saves me time and trouble on a daily basis is having a spreadsheet set up for each of my classes so I can quickly and easily record grades and other data.  My template for this is not quite ready yet but it will be up soon on TpT!

Take a look and maybe you will find them useful.  
Or pass them along to someone else who will.

What would your advice be for a first year teacher?
Do you have any "I wish someone would have told me that earlier!" tips that you can share?

Please feel free to comment below, and thanks for stopping by!  

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