And yet, it’s been so short!
I can’t believe it’s time to go back, 15 days from now. I have absolutely no clue what’s in store for my next school year. Yes, no teacher really does, but by now, two weeks before school starts, most teachers know what subject they are teaching.
“But Katherine, you teach Band.”
Ah but see, I’m licensed to teach Music K-12. What that means is I can teach any music class. Band, Choir, Strings, General Music, Music Appreciation, and if they are super interesting technically my principal can force me to teach English or Math (that’s not happening though I’m sure, but technically they can make me). You see I don’t know what my new principal wants. We tried to go by very nonchalantly last week to see if we could catch her during a down moment.
First thing to know is my new principal has no down moments. She is very busy, which is good! I mean principals are busy folks. Let’s face it, the state of the music program is not high priority. I’d love it if she would let us continue on for the year because we have big plans.
I also really don’t want to teach choir. I only really have the materials for Band. I ordered some musical instruments for my music kids (I generally teach 5th grade music) but that was before we found out our old principal would become a big wig up at central office!
She was the best, our old principal, she gave us everything we needed.
I don’t really know our new principal. She is nice, I’ve interacted with her before. Just not on this level.
This year also has some worry to it in general because it’s my reup year, I get relicensed for the first time since my teaching license left the probationary status. I have to make sure to get all of my credits in by the end of the year. It used to be that, in the course of teaching full time, a teacher would automatically gain all the credits they would need to keep their license current. It is not so anymore.
I am down I think 4 credits. It’s not that it’s hard to get literary credits when you are a music teacher, it’s just no one thinks to classify any of the workshops for us that way. Then when you go to an English one they tell you “English teachers get priority,” or “English teachers only.” and then you can’t really go.
Also, they changed what credits matter so it’s my job to figure out what’s now necessary for a teacher to renew their license. It will be different. Like 4 literary credits and 4 content area credits and 2’technology credits and 1 writing and so on.
On top of that I get observed 3Xs as much because it’s my renewal year.
We have this crazy idea this year to take the bands, put them together and do sectionals like pullouts. One person teaches the band minus whatever sections are pulled out. The other teacher takes the pullouts into a smaller room and works through instrument specific exercises, sections of music, and how those sections might fit with the other group you bring like clarinets and saxophones together. The other teacher teaching the larger group will also be working on specific things as well, just with a larger group. The flutes and saxophones are gone so we can work with the clarinets and the trumpets on this part with the low brass. We could even send a percussionist or two into the sectionals if they play a bell part that matches the flute or to work specifically with their rhythm with the melody or what have you.
Theoretically it will take a lot of planning, scheduling and of course, the kids and adults will have to get used to it.
But if I am teaching strings, I can’t do that with the other band teacher.
If I am given another job I’ll need more supplies. I don’t have any current textbooks (LL Cool J is still just a rapper right? 🙄 Destiny’s Child is still together…?), no choir music, no traditional string instruments, no simple musical instruments… but all of these things can be managed if I know what’s going on.
So I wait. I could send an email, but considering I haven’t spoken to her for a good while and she might not even place me… and their are two of us music people I don’t want to say something that may be misconstrued through type.
I could request a meeting but as I’ve said, she is rightfully, a busy woman.
So what to do.
For now I wait. I buy notebooks and pencils and markers. I browse inspirational posters and procedure teaching handouts.
Not even a little ready!