Friday, February 27, 2015

Year 5: Week 24 – Settling Down?

I was hired to shake things up.

When I came to this school one of my primary goals was to start a band program. Our school previously had a middle school choir/general music program and my job was to introduce band into the middle school music curriculum.

Along with this I revamped the 3rd & 5th grade general music curriculum. There was a lot of great stuff in the curriculum that I inherited but there was a need to evolve this class to make it more relevant and diverse.

So I got it done. It was crazy and in retrospect I have a hard time remembering how I managed all of that work that year. I was really looking forward to the second and third year being calmer because I would be able to build off work from the previous year. It didn’t work out that way. We added more band classes and I become an even more active member of the community participating on various committees.

Every year I’ve been here, there’s always been something new to focus on, some new club, performance or project to work. Why can’t I just teach?

Part of me really wishes that I could just focus on my lesson planning and teaching, and glide a little bit.  I could work off lesson I did in previous years, repeat a lot of material year to year and enjoy the calmness of it all, but it’s never worked out that way.

Is it because of the expectations of my peers and my administrators? Maybe it’s just because I started my time here to help this school evolve and this has never stopped being something people look to me to do.

After talking about this with Diana, I realized that it’s not my school that has pressured me to work this way. It’s just the teacher that I am. My school has simply embraced the educator that I am and enabled me to constantly innovate and continue to work on crazy projects every year.

Most of the time I love how my brain works, how it’s constantly struggling to look at things from other angles and come up with new ways to think about educating my students. However sometimes it’s exhausting and it really has become a struggle to focus on the present, especially in this past week.

Some of this is fear. I’m looking at things I haven’t done before, and some of it is the fact there is so much to be done.  I couldn't get to sleep last night because of an ever growing to do list in my brain.  I know once I get moving on some of these things and work through the process I'll feel better, but right now it just all seems like more than I can handle.

The reason why I don't think I should worry is that this isn't the first time I've felt this way.  When I started the band program, the reality was that I had never taught middle school band.  I often completely  feltill-equipped for the task that was laid out before me.  However my administrators trusted me, I worked hard for my kids and we got there.

I know I'll get to that point.  I always do.  Until, then I'll try to pause and enjoy the present fruits of my past labors.

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