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Courtney Langton

Courtney is an aspiring high school teacher. Her teachables are History and English, but she's happy to teach anything that doesn't involve numbers or formulas. Her particular interest is in promoting gender equity and anti-oppression both in and outside the classroom. She writes a detailed To-Do list every morning, and enjoys nothing more than a good book and a plate of bacon on a rainy Saturday.

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan's primary interest is moral education. His teachable subjects are English and Music. He encourages critical thinking and hopes to teach his students to recognize, and strive for, what is truly important to them without forgetting to be compassionate, tolerant, and open-minded along the way. He likes making analogies and his favourite is one that compares life to jumping on a trampoline.

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ARCHIVES: June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 March 2010

A Super Awesome Week
Friday, March 12, 2010

Being in a class has sapped my originality so you'll have to bear with the title. Nonetheless, I thought I'd update and mention that my prac was generally pretty awesome but more than that, this past week has been one of the more rewarding weeks of prac I've had this entire year.

I remember going into this third block thinking that being in the music department for the entire time might kill me. But it turned out that apparently, I am musically competent! This was a somewhat interesting discovery. The more interesting discovery, however, came in the form of me realizing that as a music teacher, you form a different kind of bond with your students. Part of it might have to do with the fact that music students tend to like music so your students generally enjoy being in class every day. But a part of it also had to do with this feeling of collaboration that you sometimes don't get when you're teaching other subjects.

But the real reason why I wanted to blog about my music prac is because of the particular phenomenon that turned my prac from being "pretty good" to "awesome".

See, because my associate teacher runs a junior jazz band, junior concert band, senior jazz band, and senior concert band, all during lunch and after school, he only teaches 2 periods a day. So what ended up happening was that we'd have period 1 and 4 to prep, but we'd also have to conduct during lunch and every day after school. Busy life. In the end, though, the "extra" prep period produced an unforeseen side effect.

Music kids, as a rule, dawdle after class. To the point where Mr. Walker and I had to chase them out sometimes. However, the students who had fourth period spare (it was a grade 11/12 band class) were never really in a hurry to leave. Well, it just so happened that last Friday, two such students lingered for longer than usual so I started talking to them about their futures (their plans for next year, what they wanted from life, etc). They ended up staying for about half of fourth period. No big deal, right? Happens from time to time...

Except that this week, they started hanging around on an everyday basis. Then, they were joined by more students (a number of whom I'm pretty sure did NOT have fourth period off). Long story short, by the time Thursday rolled around, what happened was that the bell would ring, these students would put their instruments away, and then stand around, looking at me expectantly like I was supposed to pull a rabbit out of my hat. In essence, for this last week, I spent at least half of my fourth period prep time conducting a "character development" seminar. Rewarding for me, rewarding for them, win-win situation (aside from the marking that I would be obliged to put off).

My final words of advice to them today:

"Try hard, do good, and remember that God is in the details."

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