When I look back on my teaching career, it just seems surreal that I am about to begin my 10th year of teaching! The time has flown by, and I have enjoyed every moment. My first two years I taught Choir, Band, General Music, and Yearbook for grades K-12. That was a whirlwind of a year! I moved to a much larger school district, teaching 6th-7th grade Choir for 3 years. After a restructuring of the district and many layoffs and furloughs (including me), I was thrilled to be called back to teach K-6th grade Choir and General Music. This fall I will be continuing with the little kiddos, K-3rd grade General Music, for my 4th year.
Each August I look forward to starting a brand new year, fresh from the beginning, blank seating charts ready to be penciled in with students’ names. I love to revive my class rules and procedures, revisit curriculum and tests, and incorporate creative ideas into my lesson plans. I approach the start of the school year similar to New Year’s, when many of us make resolutions to eat healthier or exercise more. I enjoy writing my own back-to-school resolutions, as it is a great way to get my thoughts down on paper as I embark on a brand new journey, with many new students and often co-workers, administration, or curriculum.
My Back-to-School Resolutions:
- Maintain accurate and consistent records. This can be a major challenge with so many classes each day. I am trying to come up with some new ways to record participation grades, behavior, etc.
- Keep a journal … consistently. I love writing, and despite my repeated attempts to journal, I always end up having a notebook only a quarter of the way completed, and wishing I had kept up with it. I try to write 2-4 sentences about my day, mostly the good things that happened. In years to come, I want each entry to remind me about specific positive events that played an important part in my growth or in the lives of my students. I find that it can be a great reflection for me at the end of the day. Without the pressure to record anything lengthy, it is easier to make it a habit and to make it happen!
- Read more books and articles. I absolutely love to read, but, I’ll be honest, it is an activity that I often tend to put aside after a long, hard day of work. It is just easier to watch a movie, listen to music, or just go to bed! My goal is to read at least 3 books this school year. That may not seem like a whole lot, but with a busy schedule, like we all have, it can be difficult. I love the warm feeling of cuddling up on the couch reading, especially as the weather begins to get colder in the next few months.
- Complete my final Orff level. In 2014, I was thrilled to complete my Kodaly certificate/training, which was such a rewarding and enriching experience for me. That same summer (I was crazy!), I started my Orff Level 1. I am looking forward to completing level 3, hopefully next summer.
- Create new products for TpT. I first opened my Teachers pay Teachers store in August 2013. I had about 25 products available up until just this past spring. I currently have 156 active products! I hope to keep growing as I create new activities, games, and presentations for my students and share them with the Tpt community. Feel free to check out my Tpt store: Beth’s Music Classroom.
The start of this blog is not my only milestone to celebrate. This past week I was so thrilled to reach 100 followers on my Teachers pay Teachers store! I will be announcing a special freebie and sale beginning next week. Don’t forget to follow me for updates and notifications on new items.
The blogs and books of so many music educators, Kodaly enthusiasts, and Orff fanatics before me have inspired me to become a better educator and musician. I have grown from their advice and inspiration. My hope is to now encourage others with this blog. I hope that my first attempt at blogging will be succeeded with many more to come. Thanks so much for your time and your listening ear!