Thursday, November 4, 2010


The hardest thing about student teaching is getting the respect needed to effectively teach a class full of teenagers. Lately, I feel like they've been trying to walk all over me, but I think I've caught it early enough. I've had to be really strict. I think part of the problem is my age. I'm only 7 years older than some of the students. I have to be really careful that they don't think of me as a friend, because then they think they can get away with anything they want to. So, lately that has made me a little mean. As soon as I feel like I have the control, I think I can become a little more relaxed. I don't like being the bad guy, but right now I need their respect more than their friendship. Some of the students at the high school want to have a pre-twirps (Twirps is a dance they have) party at my house. I really don't think that is a good idea. I've been really careful to make sure none of my students know where I live. They need to know there is a line between them and me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Football game 2

If you want to check out the CHS band in action, check out They did such a great job and I'm really proud of them!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Yesterday was a VERY long day. Quick summary: 6 AM - Wake-up/get ready for school, 7 AM - arrive at CHS, 11:30ish - go home for lunch, 12:15ish - head to CJHS, 2:45 - school done, go to work, 5 pm - head back to CHS to support band for football game, 6:30 - Football!, 11 PM get home. 17 hours straight! I was pretty exhausted last night.

The game was really fun! It is quite the production. I will try and post a picture later. I was very proud of my band!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Today was extremely stressful! The band seemed a little more relaxed today then they were yesterday. I am really looking forward to tomorrow's football game. The stressful part about to day was that 2 more guitars were stolen! We had one stolen earlier in the week, and two more were stolen today. So, we decided to reissue locks, but keep the same lockers. So, now they better understand to not give their combos to anyone and nobody knows their combination but them.

CJHS went really well. In concert band, we sight read a couple pieces and they did really well. I can hear a lot of improvement in them.

Tomorrow: CHS homecoming rally and football!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The looming football game

Today, tensions were high in band at CHS. The first football game of the year is this Friday. Everybody seemed a little stressed and worried that this game is not going to be that great. Most of the tension came from the drum major and the uniform crew. What we explained to them all is that Todd has been teaching for 18 years and he does know what he's doing. It is different than how they have done things in the past, and they are starting to get upset about it. They are also not going through the right channels to get talk about these things. Todd and I had to put out a few fires today. It was a little stressful.

My supervisor from the university, Bob Kohen, observed me today for the first time. He came to Concert Band at CJHS. At first I was very nervous, but as soon as I started to teach, the nerves went away. I did notice him watching me a couple times, but I don't think it really effected me. After class, he said I had a good repor with the students, which is what he was really looking for today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crazy kids

Last Friday, the kids at CJHS knew it was Friday. It was nutso on Friday! Not only was it Friday, but they had also gotten their prizes for the magazine drive. I had to confiscate one of the prizes for the period because it was such a distraction. With all these things against us, we only got about 1/8 of the stuff done that I had planned for. They just kept talking. The only time they weren't talking was when they were playing, but the exact moment that the song ended, they would just start talking. If I was allowed to walk out on them, I would have. I was about 30 seconds from throwing a kid out of my classroom, but I couldn't decide who I wanted to kick out!

Anywho... tomorrow is a rally schedule at CJHS. Let the insanity commence!

The end of this week is the first football home game for CHS. The band is starting to worry a little bit about being ready for it. I personally think they are going to be great at the game. I try to let them know that.

I've had a few students get mad at me now. One of them was showing up late for band (CHS) fairly often. I am the one that takes attendance everyday. The attendance policy states that if a student is late, they have to serve a detention. They also have to go to the attendance office when they arrive to class. One day, on a marching day, he shows up late. I ask him to go to the attendance office. He says, "Wouldn't you rather have me rehearsing out here on the field." My reply was, "No, I want you to go to the attendance office right now." He storms off, goes to the attendance office, and then does not come back to class. Todd went down to the attendance office to let them know he didn't show up and he was marked truant. The next day, he was late again. I ask him to go to the attendance office. This time, he goes to the attendance office, and then he goes home! Todd went down to the attendance office and they pulled him out of his second period class. They had a discussion with him. Basically, Todd told the student that they had to decide if they wanted to continue to be in band. He hasn't been late since.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Journal 1

So, for Practicum I, we are supposed to submit a journal every three weeks for a total of nine weeks. I figured I would share with you what I submitted for this first one. A lot of this will probably be repeated from earlier. I have bleeped out the names just so I don't offend anybody.

            The first month of school has felt like two months to me. It is definitely a different feeling than I’m used to. Getting up early everyday and teaching can be rather exhausting. Add on top the other classes that we have to take for the credential program and work, and it gets even worse. I am hanging in there and it is getting easier for my body to do. I remember getting home every day for the first couple weeks and just going straight to bed to take a nap. I can now make it through a day without napping.
            As far as I can tell, the teachers I’ve observed all have well planned lessons. I have never seen a teacher look for something to do next. They all go from one thing to the next. How they organize there lesson plans is different for all the teachers. Some have an agenda written on the board, others have some kind of PowerPoint presentation or other computer program that guides the class, and others just seem to know what is supposed to some next. A history teacher I saw, Mr. *****, really just seemed to know exactly what came next. When it came time to lecture, he asked where they were in the notes and then just picked up exactly where he left off the day before and kept lecturing right till the end of class. It was, by no means, a boring lecture. The students all seemed very interested in what he had to say. It almost seems like the lecture part of class would just be continuous from day one all the way to the end of the unit.
            Among all the teachers, there are very different classroom management techniques. Mr. *** had an interesting technique of just calling a student out in the middle of class. Mr. *** seemed somewhat old fashioned. One of the students yawned in his class and didn’t cover his mouth. Mr. *** interrupted what another student was saying just to tell the student that it was inappropriate. I personally don’t think that the situation was handled correctly, but I didn’t say anything to him.
            A few teachers I observed, including Mr. ***** and Mr. *******, kept the students engaged. They didn’t really have any behavioral problems because they could keep the kids engaged. I hope that this works for me. Being a music teacher, I feel that a well-planned lesson is the best kind of classroom management.
            I feel like I am getting a handle on teaching, for the most part. I am learning to be stern in some cases and light in others. Sometimes, when I’m teaching, I can get a little too focused on just teaching and forget to smile a little. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, sometimes a student does something they shouldn’t and I don’t mention it. I feel both of these things are already starting to change. The other day, there was a kid I told that if they don’t start practicing their guitar in the guitar class, that they will fail the class. He ended up leaving the class instead. Sometimes, you have to be harsh, and sometimes you have to smile.
            I am very proud that I have learned all the names in the Band at Chico High. There are 80 kids in the class and I know every one of their names. Now, I just need to work on getting the rest of my classes.