Mmmm summer, time for warm weather, late nights, barbecues, and wide open roads just aching for the rumbles of car tires on long road trips. Quite a long stretch from the daily grind that most teachers and students face during the long school year. I found myself this past year really stretching myself to a breaking point trying to please others around me whether it be the students, the other teachers, or the administration. All the extra effort put in to make others happy drained my creativity and drive to do things that made me happy, things that allow me to wake up every day looking forward to something other than going back to bed. My summer has only been about 3 weeks long but already the things I’ve accomplished over those 3 weeks and the time I’ve had to slow down, reflect, and RELAX has overwhelmingly helped my brain catch up with life. Slow down, reflect, and relax..isn’t that what summer vacation is all about? To spend what ever time you have enjoying the things that you have trouble finding time for during school? Take it slow, really look at what you’re doing, reconnect, enjoy, further your knowledge and prepare yourself for September!
Have you ever thought you were just the same as everyone else in the world? You had the same things every other teacher across the US had? Throughout my first year of teaching I actually fell into the routine where I assumed and forgot about those who had less. I know it was kind of stupid to think that but when you’re in a district where every school has a projector in each classroom, netbooks are a dime a dozen, and students get designated computer time each week you begin to think every other district in the world has the same. After a recent trip to a music ed conference my thoughts were reverted back remembering all of the music classrooms I’ve been in that certainly could have used tech but didn’t have any. I was talking to a bunch of educators who were telling me they have never had a projector in there classroom..I’ve had the privilege of one in each of my classrooms mounted to the wall. Some don’t have access to computer for students..I have access to ComputersOnWheels anytime I want them. We are in a rebuilding stage in our economy but when a district like mine who has lots of low income families and not a huge budget can get special help to provide students with this equipment can get it, others can too. Of course the tech that one is provided cannot be a crutch used to teach and be the overall direction of the class. It is supposed to be there to enhance a student’s educational experience providing visuals and concept reinforcement activities for each child to better their education. I was so grateful for the technology I was given I had told my mother who also works in the district about it. She was so impressed by my stories and words she went up to the Superintendent (who happens to frequent the same gym she does at the same time every morning) about what I said and he was so surprised about how thankful I was.
All in all I count my blessings when it comes to technology in my classroom. I feel it’s overall helped me become a better person so I try to involve my students with it hoping to give them the same experiences I had…and I have to tell you, the thing my students remember most about music class this year?? using the computers!
Even though my todo list this summer is a hundred miles long I keep chugging through it. Why? because I feel the more I complete the better person I’ll be. I constantly am looking for ways to be better and rise above the rest. Most of this stuff ends up on my to do list and it takes eons for me to cross it off..but isn’t that any music teachers life? You think of a new and creative idea or you find one at a conference and put it on your to do list but when it gets busy it gets pushed to the side over and over again. It’s time to take charge of the to do list, I personally and determined to complete everything on it not only to make my life easier but to gain that feeling of accomplishment and the thought that I’ve done something good. The thought that I am doing good keeps me going, it should keep everyone going. One thing you cross off your to do list can do so much good even if you don’t realize it.