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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Goals

Part of my goals for this year was to really figure out what I want to do with my life.  I realized a few years ago in the middle of all of my music education classes that I really didn't like being a director.  I don't like standing in front of a group of students and telling them what they are doing wrong all of the time.  I also despise conducting...so I decided that music education wasn't for me.  I then started to pursue the performance aspect full force.  I loved getting to delve into projects and pieces and really take them apart to make them my own and playing in orchestra and chamber music were my favorite parts of the week. 

Now I'm student teaching and I have rediscovered the reason I chose music education.  My mom is a very inspirational person.  She went back to college when I was in elementary school to get her degree in English and Elementary Education.  Now she teaches 2nd grade.  When I was a senior in high school I had a "future crisis"...I realized that the path I had been following towards astrophysics wasn't for me.  I was burned out academically.

During that period of unknown, I practiced my violin fiercely and spent a lot of time in my mom's classroom.  Looking back, before now I couldn't tell you why I picked music education.  It just seemed to make sense at the time.  Now I see that I absolutely loved being in that elementary school.  The kids helped me see that some of the most important things you can do in life are very small, but they can have huge impacts. 

I want to teach elementary school music.  Coming to this realization was slow for me because I have pursued the performance aspect of violin/music with such zealous for the last 2 years, but I know that I have made the right choice.  I also know that by pursuing performance, I will still be able to enjoy playing in an orchestra and maybe giving recitals, but in the end, I'll wake up every morning to see lots of smiling faces in my music classroom.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Time Flies!

I can't believe that it has been 7 weeks since I started student teaching!  I feel like I haven't had time to catch my breath at all.

I have really been enjoying the "student teaching experience", much more than I thought I would.  I have been loving working with the students, especially kindergarten!  I am slightly hesitant about moving up to the high school and middle school in just over a week, but I am sure that those are just nerves and everything will be just fine. 

In the grand scheme of life, I am enjoying many aspects of being a teacher (even though I'm not really a full out teacher right now) but there are many trade offs I don't care for.  I love the students and getting to really dig into some topics with them sometimes and to just have fun with them other times.  On the other hand, teaching has consumed my life!  I have practically no social interactions with anyone my own age that are not over the phone, and I haven't seen more than 5 adults at the same time for more than 20 minutes at a time unless I'm at the grocery store.  This means that while I am surrounded by people all day, I am kind of lonely.  I get done with school and teaching privately and then I am back to my apartment to practice or prepare for the next day at school. 

Teaching is definitely a career that involves copious amounts of your own precious free time and I need to start getting a better handle on how to balance my life with it. 

The biggest downside to teaching and really the only reason I am not 100% committed to finding a full time teaching job right away is the lack of time I have to play my violin.  I went to college to become a musician and a teacher and right now I am more teacher than musician and I really miss the musician part.  I'll keep you updated about how my balancing act proceeds!