Being a music teacher is a very public job…….public as in your colleagues get frequent opportunities to see the fruits of your effort.
General education teachers have test scores that represent their and students’ success in the classroom. Note: I am not trying to get into a debate on the standardized testing but assessment of students’ skills is a requirement in any subject area.
Although I do assess student achievement in my classroom, I am the only one who sees that data. Performances and special events are completely public. The fruits of my labor are up there for all to see.
This has it’s positive and negative aspects. I can not say that I go without recognition at my job. ”This show was great!” “Another success!” “Wow! They sang great.” “Best show ever!” I’m not trying to brag but I’m good at my job.
Other times, it is exhausting! For example, I have to look the part. This morning was the Cowboy Breakfast at school (long story!) and I MC-ed the line dancing. I didn’t have to but I bough cowboy boots and a hat. I straightened my hair for under the hait. I washed clothes specifically for today and this isn’t an isolated event either. Every performance I dress in concert black.
Of course, I don’t HAVE to do any or all of that but, again, my job is public. My appearance influences the quality of the event and people’s opinion of my job performance. It’s especially difficult when you’re overweight and extremely self-conscious.
Back to the Cowboy Breakfast:
I am not western……at all. I don’t listen to country music. I don’t wear boots (today was a first.) I’ve never owned Wranglers even though I live in Texas.
In spite of that, a year ago, I was thrown into my first Cowboy Breakfast. Because it was a tradition to have line dancing, I had to learn line dances from youtube so I could teach the children.
Apparently, I did TOO good of a job because I was asked to head up the activities for the entire event AND teach/plan line dancing for the kids. Being the work-aholic perfectionist that I am, everything got done well and was a success.
My personal line dancing has been a topic of conversation though. It’s not that I mind so much as……it’s a part of my job…..line-dancing with kids for fun at the buttcrack of dawn. Ha! It would be strange if commented to a classroom teacher “Wow! You read that story with great inflection” or “You made a great flipchart for last week’s science vocabulary” or “You put your grades in so efficiently.” However, it seems perfectly natural for teachers to comment on my moves, my dancing skills (it’s not common knowledge that I have a dance background), or the fact that I tower over my children especially when I’m the only adult in a mass of children ages 3-12.
It is just strange to me how different my job is from other people’s…..even other teachers. I love it but it bogles my mind sometimes.
Anyway, here are some pictures from the Cowboy Breakfast since I’m not going to do a separate post…..I think my ramblings covered it.
Here is some of my kids dancing. Notice the different sizes: I had 6th graders help the younger students and had as young as my Pre-K 3 babies out there. I love how children will just run out and try things without worrying about how they long. I wish I was like that.
Other activities included:
Animals (one of the high school teachers brought a cow and a donkey)
Interviews with the School News Crew
Musical Book-Walk (cake walk with books instead of cake)
Jellybean Guessing (to support Paws 4 the Cause)
Bean Bag Toss
Thanks for reading!