So my weekend plans have been sidetracked by yet another cold. I guess seeing over 20 new kids in a week might have been too much for my immune system. Luckily this strain is not as debilitating as my last cold (just under 3 weeks ago 🙁 ), but it’s still causing me problems, particularly in my half-marathon training…I should be doing a long run today, but, according to the internet, if you have a fever or congestion below the neck (I have a bit of a chest cough), then you should not run. I think I can make it up on Tuesday, if I’m feeling up to par then. This first half marathon will be just a race to complete, not for any sort of time goal.
First half marathon, you say? Why yes, in fact I have registered for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in Phoenix, Arizona in January. My sister lives there and we have decided to do the race together! (She may be doing the full marathon though.) So my current plan is to suffer through this first race, and then continue training/running. And after that half marathon, there’s one back in the Lou in April, so there is absolutely no shortage of running goals for me to have.
As far as teaching goes, I am excited for my orchestra class tomorrow. Last week I spent the time doing scales and review pieces. This week I will have some new music for the kids to play. I’ve chosen a few easy pieces, one or two challenging ones, plus several Christmas tunes. The students range from third to eighth grade, but they all know each other from last year and have a good rapport.
I am not settling into the classes at my other school quite as well. I do not teach private lessons there, just Suzuki group classes, and it will just take me longer to relate to all the students. The students really loved their previous teacher and get upset when I don’t do things exactly the same way. That should pass with time, as they get accustomed to my style. The previous teacher was really good, luckily, though he seemed to use a very rewards-oriented approach to teaching, which is something that I am trying to avoid. I think I’ll have to ease them out of that, rather than go cold turkey…
At the moment I am trying to decide what to do with a chart that tracked each child’s progress with a star (for completion). This was a nice chart last year’s teacher made, and most of the students are the same. I found the chart in the storage and brought it out to show them (a mistake). Of course those who were ahead were excited by this, and those who were behind were a bit downtrodden. I suggested that we make a new chart, and to regain stars one would have to play the songs in the group together. (My understanding had been that originally it was a solo performance, so this was much easier). I thought this would be a fun way to review, in addition, I would want to hear all the pieces anyway to make sure that the kids hadn’t forgotten everything over the summer. Long story short, one of the children has a mini-breakdown and spends the rest of class crying. (He was “ahead” of the others, and I believe was worried he would lose that “status.”) Now the question is: do I just forget the chart entirely? I think yes, as it’s just not worth the hassle. I would rather focus our goals on things other than learning new songs…but will that upset the OTHER kids? I feel like it’s a lose-lose situation right now. Maybe I won’t mention it at all in tomorrow’s class and just see what happens.