reflections from a first-year music teacher: week 1
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
And just like that the first week of school is done! I figured it would be good for me to journal and reflect about my experiences every week as a first year music teacher. This week I found themes of preparation and relationships.
For those who may not know, I am teaching 5-12 Band and Choir this year. This week affirmed to me that I am focusing on the right things and more importantly that my heart is in the right place. Often times it can be hard to prepare for things that don't have an immediate return, but I am so grateful to have had so many great mentors along the way to this moment - making me feel prepared and excited for the growth to come this year. These mentor relationships saw people pour into me because they got to know me, my drive, and my passions. Because of those relationships I grew faster than I thought I could, and taken farther than I thought I would.
The way that we help students grow to the best of their ability is by forming RELATIONSHIPS - and that is exactly what we spent the most time on this week. Learning names/pronouns, what is important to them, their dreams, their favorite music. For every bit I invest into them, they invest back. And that is what it means to build a relationship.
So was this week perfect? No, but neither is any week. Did things happen that I didn’t expect? Sure. But did I feel as prepared as possible? Did I focus on the students? Did I adjust to new situations and problems as they arose? Am I proud to be where I am with the students I am with? Absolutely. I felt PREPARED enough to roll with the punches of the first week of school. I felt PREPARED enough to have knowledge to share. More importantly, I feel like I am still PREPARING the best version of myself as a musician, educator, and human.
We can't make music without building the musicians, we can't build the musicians without building the people, and we can't build anything without KNOWING those people. And I cannot be more excited to know my students more and grow alongside them this year. :)
- Kelly Damann