I got an assignment from my Superintendent to spend professional development time today on a project of my choosing. I choose to reflect on my post from two years ago and reread the Boonshaft.
My core value list from 2013:
I do not think any of these have changed. I do believe if you asked my students what my core values are they would be able to make the same list.
One thing I might add is that I love projects, whether it is pioneering Palm computers, iPads and the Symphony, or restarting a Drama program. I feel students love the NEW.
While re-reading Boonshaft I was reminded of two aspects of teaching:
- You need access to high quality literature, instruments, and students. I have some control of the first, little control over the second, and little control over the third.
- You need to spend a crazy amount of time on conducting practice, score study, and rehearsal planning. I teach Band AND choir, AND three sections of American Government. I have 45 minutes per day to do budget, fix instruments, make copies, grade papers. I need to find time to improve rehearsals by doing the proper amount of study.
So how am I working on this?
- Today, as an example, I am meeting with my Middle School colleague to review repertoire, develop strategies for sharing assessments and music, and review conducting basics.
- I need to find ways to "farm out" tasks. My administrative load is insane. Between the field trip forms, $$ deposits, CMEA paperwork, iPad updates, etc... The more I organize, the better.
- Teaching the class at UB forces me to reflect on my practice AND have students critique it.
- I read a lot. Not nearly as much as I did before my stroke (its hard...).
- I am pushing for grant funds to improve our instrument library. We simply do not have enough instruments. We are WAY ahead of where we were 5 years ago when I arrived, but we are a good $200,000 behind similar schools with quality programs. We currently have no students in district playing oboe, bassoon, horn, tuba, or baritone sax.
- I am beginning to organize our library. This, I believe, would take me 150 hours of work. But I have to do it. See above for the 45 minutes per day I get...
- I conduct MUCH worse since my stroke. I need to find someone to help me with this.