Friday, November 16, 2012

Year 3: Week 10 – Working Through The Crazy

Okay, I’ll be honest, this week was a little crazy.

My 5th graders had a presentation this last Thursday and my 3rd graders are preparing for their Thanksgiving assembly next week. Both of these grades have to prepare for a Holiday program in December. Also, today, the Middle School orchestra, which I conduct, performed at an assembly.  And then I have my middle school band kids who I still need to attend to.

I didn’t schedule all of this stuff to come together in these couple weeks. What happens is that the different grades and musical groups schedule these performances reflecting their own needs. They don’t really think about the fact that I may have multiple performances in one week. Honestly, they shouldn’t.  It’s my job to manage all of this.

Sometimes the way the difference grades’ schedules line up make my life at school a little crazy, but it’s also what I’m trained to do. I don’t remember the first time I performed in front of an audience because I was so young. It’s something I’ve done my entire life and it’s part of my job to be involved in kids' performances and have the ability to balance all of these things out.

Yes, I have to somehow get groups of fifty kids to perform on stage, but I don’t have to grade essays. I don’t have math test to write. I’m not outside early in the morning coaching a sports team. I don’t have to prepare food to feed the entire school. I’m not responsible for helping kids get into college and I don't have to nurse 1st graders who fall down at recess.

It’s easy to forget when things get tough that other people in the school have just as challenging jobs as you do. Just because a teacher never has to put on an assembly doesn’t mean that he or she isn’t working as hard as a drama teacher.

Let’s say for a minute that this is not true and that there are some teachers who have harder jobs than others. Does focusing on this fact really get you anywhere in the day?  This kind of thinking just leads to bitterness and pull your focus away from your students.

One of the things that keeps a positive school climate is maintaining a community of teachers that truly respects and admires each other.  One of the joys of being in a K-12 school like mine is that every teacher can look at what another teacher is doing and reflect, “there is no way that I could EVER do what they are doing.” That’s a really good feeling because while it makes us feel proud of our work, it also humbles us at the same time.

My next couple weeks are going to be a little insane, but it’s all good. Its what I signed up for. Yes, I may have the challenge of putting together musical programs but the feeling of watching these performances makes it totally worth it.

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