Student Teaching: √
It's over. Just like that.
After months of planning, teaching, and learning (& repeating that over and over again) I have finally graduated from my time at West Ottawa and will now be moving on to my very own classroom. Time flies when one is having fun!
Indeed, I leave WO more excited than ever to enter this profession and teach kids. Here are a few of my emotions & reflections in a nutshell:
- Wow that was insane.
- I love singing
- I love teaching kids to sing
- I love teaching kids to be musicians
- High school kids are cool, even if they do sometimes think they are "too cool for school"
- High school lingo (the stuff these kids come up with...) is one-of-a-kind (s/o to the Men of Vocalaires)
- Life is tough, and the stuff that happens in the world can hurt, but it's a teacher's job to keep everything moving ahead
- Music can heal, especially when voices come together for one another (s/o to WOSWE)
- Kids (/young adults) are worth everything we've got!
- Culture in a classroom matters and will make/break everything one tries to accomplish
- Speaking truth is a powerful motivator
- Students know when something isn't going well––it's my job to shut up and listen (Thank you to those who always spoke up to correct me!)
- Make kids walk to their seminar (You know who you are.)
- Warming up by speaking in an english accent is awesome (s/o to Bella Voce!)
- Practice speaking composers' names. Eventually they will get it. (s/o to 1st grade!)
- Cast a vision. Help them get there.
- Teaching students to know their voices and use them is important.
- ALWAYS have a smile. One day they will return the favor.
- If you push students, they will push back. Keep pushing.
- Notes of caring are significant.
- Santa hats & reindeer antlers are essential for a holiday concert (s/o to MOWO)
- Keep on the lookout for the Gingerbread boy (s/o to Kindergarten)
- Good accompanists are gold. Fantastic accompanists with perfect pitch are priceless (s/o to Mrs. Florip!)
- Phil Collins on a Friday brings joy
- Hearing the progress a group can make when seeing them once/week is special (s/o to the ladies of Bel Canto)
- A Chamber Choir that can manage themselves and make music even when my conducting is bad is a gift. (Bless you Vocalaires)
- What a privilege it is to share music with those who don't have much else.
As you can see, my student teaching semester was more fun than I could have expected, and much more special than I could have dreamed. I hold deep gratitude in my heart for these kids and my wonderful mentor teachers. I will never forget this gift of a semester they gave me––by far the best Christmas present!
The best part is that they have trained me well for what is next. I begin at Holland Public Schools next week and the excitement continues to build. Since it is the halfway through the year, things will not be easy. But I sleep well at night knowing that my student teaching at West Ottawa taught me one thing that will make all the difference: love kids.