Friday, August 24, 2012

Student Teaching Part VIII: Testing Time

This is the eighth entry of my student teaching journals (Part IPart II, Part III, Part IV, Part V & Part VI, Part VII).


11/8
Right before I started to teach concert band, Mr. Smith the orchestra teachers asked me to switch rooms so he wouldn’t have to move the percussion equipment. He asked me presenting it in a way that if I said no, I would be making a big inconvenience. He asked why I needed to record when so many players were gone, and I told him it was for student teaching stuff. He didn’t want to spend half of the period moving “a lot of percussion equipment including timpani and mallets” but I explained to him that I needed to record the band so I couldn’t.

I found this weird that he hadn’t thought about this earlier and asked Mr. S yesterday about this. He ended up only taking a couple things from the band room like the snare drum and cymbals.

During 6th, he came in and asked me how things went and I told them they went well. He said he was glad to hear that but it wasn’t genuine. Part of me thinks he wanted to hear that I had a bad time because so many players were gone. Right before jazz Bill asked about the whole situation because Mr. S made some comment about, “bashing the student teacher” saying that they couldn’t switch rooms because the student teacher had to record, and from Bill’s description probably in a bitchy way. That’s annoying. I need to talk to Mr. S to see how I should take this. I feel like he was trying to take advantage of the fact Mr. S wasn’t there and that he knew days ago he was going to have this situation but didn’t want to deal with it with Mr. S.

11/14
Monday, nothing too much happened to day. The day went smoothly, Mr. S mentioned that it might be good to confront Mr. Smith about Wednesday. When you do that you let the other person know you aren’t taking that stuff, it makes you look better as the person trying to mend things and it sends a message of maturity.

11/22
Today in concert band we had Sleigh Ride testing. The way this worked is that Mr. S and I figured out spots in the piece that needed to be tested on. The whole band sat in the room and Mr. S would call out section of the piece to play with certain sections. He moved around the band so that no section was sitting there doing nothing for too long.

When it was a sections turn, he would sometimes have them play it once as a section. About two or three people would play an excerpt at a time, if he needed to isolate who was having issues he would have people play alone. The whole band was present so every was listening to everyone else's test. This did put a level of peer pressure on the situation and gave everyone in the band an idea of how everyone else is playing. If people talked Mr. S said he would take points off, so the room was silent while testing was going on.

Mr. S told me later that he doesn’t want kids to get “F’s,” he just wants to get them to learn music. He did stall on some of the testing which gives a lot of kids another day to practice as we finish up testing tomorrow. I mean it’s not fun to humiliate kids who haven’t worked hard, but it’s part of the game and the responsibility of dealing with you own actions.

In Sleigh Ride some of the sections sounded ok as a group but the instant smaller groups of people started playing problems really emerged. It is tedious but I think if it comes from an attitude of getting kids moving and making sure people don’t hide in the section, then I think it’s a good idea. It takes a willingness to do things students don’t like to help them learn which is a hard thing to do but a responsible and necessary step to take to help education students.

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