Tag Archive: student teaching


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”- W.B. Yeats

As someone who has just graduated from college one of the hardest transitions that I already faced to some extent and am continuing to face now is making a smooth transition from being a student to becoming a teacher. This is a transition that happens gradually throughout your undergraduate career and then before you know it you are no longer a student and are finally a teacher. I found and am continuing to find that if you are not prepared this transition can hit you in the face and be a challenge. We spend at least 17 years of our lives being a student and then suddenly we find ourselves back in the classroom, but only this time we are on the other side. I believe there is a lot that we can be doing during our undergraduate studies  to help make a the transition from student to teacher a little smoother and more gradual.

Transitioning from Student to Teacher

One day you are sitting at a desk learning about how to become a successful teacher and then before you know it you are standing in front of a classroom and are responsible for teaching the students that sit in front of you. During my student teaching experience I found out that the transition from student to student teacher and then eventually to teacher is a challenge. Below are some suggestions that I found help to make this transition happen more smoothly.

  1. Get Inside the Classroom Early: I found that getting into the classroom as early as possible can help to make the transition from student to teacher easier. The more you get into the classroom the more you learn and the more you begin thinking like a teacher. While in the classroom you can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t work as an educator. Also one of my biggest pieces of advice is when in the classroom don’t just sit there!! Be active, even if you don’t have the opportunity to actually teach walk around the room, help students if possible and ask questions. All of these things will begin transitioning you into the position of teacher.
  2. Start Building your Library: Begin building your library early on in your career so that you have some resources ready to go when you begin your first year teaching. Start collecting books, magazines journals, choral octavos, scores, recorders, anything that one day may be helpful in the classroom. If if you aren’t able to buy some of these things write down titles of pieces you hear or play that you like, keep a list of books that you have seen that you eventually wish to have etc. This way when you begin teaching you will have resources to start with and will know where to look to find more.
  3. Define Yourself as an Educator: Start defining yourself as an educator. Think about who you want to be as a future music teacher and make a plan of how you are going to get there. Also begin thinking about your future classroom, what would your ideal classroom look like, what will your discipline plan be etc. Not only will this help make the transition to becoming a teacher easier,  but it will also help to prepare you for job interviews. One of the most beneficial assignments for  me as an undergraduate was my final for elementary music methods. We were given a scenario where we were hired as the new music teacher. We were given a budget, materials we had, what was expected of us etc. The we had to plan out specific units, give a rough plan for the first few weeks of school, write how are classroom would be laid out, what we would use our budget for etc. This really helped to get us thinking about decisions that we will have to make as educators that we never had to think about as students.
  4. Think as a Teacher Instead of a Student: One of the biggest things you can begin doing is start thinking like a teacher instead of a student. Approach every situation with the eyes of a teacher. When observing in a classroom think about what you would do and how you would handle specific situations as the teacher. In ensemble rehearsals, stop just thinking like the student or performer. Put yourself in the directors shoes and think how you would run the rehearsal. Also begin listening with the ears of a teacher. Don’t just listen for your part, but begin listening for pitch errors, wrong notes, stylistic errors etc.
  5. Save Everything: Okay well maybe don’t save everything, but definitely save a lot of your handouts, books etc. Make sure to save all of your lesson plans and materials you mae as well. These are great resources to help you when you are first beginning as a teacher. You never know when this stuff may be helpful down the road. There were many times during student teaching the I referenced stuff from classes earlier in my undergraduate career or used lesson plans that I had created for some of my college courses. These resources can save you time and help you out when you are in a pinch.
  6. Dress More Professionally: I am sure you get sick of hearing this during your undergraduate career, but it is extremely important when stepping into the role of teacher. Begin dressing like a professional early on. Firs of all this helps people and students realize that you are a professional. This is especially important when in the classroom with high school students because you are only a few years older than them. Also starting to dress professionally early on helps to build your wardrobe. While this may seem silly, it is good to begin acquiring more professional clothing during your time as an undergraduate so you don’t have to get a completely new wardrobe right before you start student teaching.
  7. Make Outside Connections: Begin making connections with other people outside of your college, both of your age and older. Developing professional relationships can really help make the transition to becoming a teacher much easier because you have other people to ask questions to and bounce ideas from each other. Make connections with other undergraduates, music educators, other educators, professors etc. Of course with all the technology we have today this is extremely easy. Below are some resources that are great for undergraduates to connect with our music educators and undergraduates and some that have helped me over the past few years as I make this transition from student to teacher.
    1. Twitter and #Musedchat: Take advantage of the wonderful community of music educators and undergraduates to collaborate and communicate with.
    2. Music PLN: A wonderful site created by Dr. Joseph Pisano for music educators and undergraduates to collaborate. A great place to ask questions that you have while transitioning from student to teacher.
    3. Music Ed MajorA very helpful site created by Andy Zweibel for music education undergraduates. This is a great resource for music ed undergraduates to gain more knowledge about the field of music education and to communicate with each other about being a music education undergraduate.
    4. Future Music Educators: A wonderful sites created by Andrew Ritenour, a senior music education undergraduate as Grove City College. This site is geared specifically for music ed majors and covers a lot of topics that often aren’t covered in your courses as an undergraduate.
  8. Take Advantage of Professional Development Opportunities: There are tons of opportunities available for undergraduates so take advantage of them now. Use your undergraduate experience as a time to learn as much about the profession as possible. Attend  workshops, conferences, seminars, subscribe to journals etc. The more you know and learn during your undergraduate career the easier your transition to being a teacher will be.
  9. Begin Working on Your Areas of Weakness: As students we are usually just worried about making it through our classes and doing the bare minimum. As future music teachers we need to realize that we have a huge calling ahead of us so we need to go above and beyond. Instead of just doing what is necessary to survive do more and work on your areas of weakness. For example if you can only play one or two instruments begin working on other secondary instruments to become proficient on them. Not only does improving our areas of weakness help us gain more knowledge and become better educators, but it also helps us become more marketable.
  10. Start the Job Process Early: I can’t stress enough how important this is. The job search process is extremely time-consuming and exhausting. Get a head start to help you transition easier and so that you don’t miss any job opportunities because you weren’t ready. While jobs aren’t often posted until the summer start getting all of your materials and standard applications ready to go so when the jobs do begin to open you can quickly gather your materials and send them.

While this is still a very tough transition I hope that the above tips and suggestions will help you to make this phase in your career a little smoother. While I am still very much in this transition phase as well, any comments or suggestions for transitioning from student to student teacher to teacher is very much appreciated. Stay tuned as I continue through this journey for more posts on transitioning to first year teaching.

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” Clay P. Bedford

The past 14 weeks have definitely been a challenge in many ways, but I can’t believe that it is already over. These past few months have flown by and now in just 6 short days I will be walking across the stage and receiving my undergraduate degree!! While it is a relief to be done with student teaching, I still miss it and the students. I truly enjoyed the whole experience and really connected with my students. I was very lucky to have 3 incredible co-ops and for the most part I had an extremely positive experience. I have found like a lot of things in life student teaching is what you make of it. While  there are just some bad placements, I believe that your success with student teaching is based on how much effort and time you put into it and what your attitude about it is. I really enjoyed student teaching because I finally got to put to use everything that I have learned and worked for over the past 3 1/2 years. I know I have shared my experiences over the past 14 weeks, but I thought I would use this recap to share some of the biggest lessons I learned throughout this semester.

Top 10 Lessons I Learned

  1. Confidence– I have found that it is important to have confidence in front of the students especially with the older ones because you are only 4 years older than them. In order for them to respect you they need to know that you are confident, in charge and know what you are doing. Show them that you are the expert in the room, but if you aren’t sure of something admit that to them and then found out the answer.
  2. SING!!- I know I have mentioned this over and over, but I feel that I can’t express the importance of singing to, with and for your students enough. This kind of goes without saying in choir or elementary general music, but I believe that it is imperative to sing in your band rehearsals. the students need to hear what their parts sound like, how the style of music should be played etc. I was amazed how much quicker the students picked up on things when I sang. Also, this gets the students to realize that singing is okay and is one step in helping you fight the battle of getting your students to sing.
  3. Organization– While your classroom is bound to become a mess at some point I found it is very beneficial to stay as organized as possible. If you are organized this helps your lessons to run smoother and can help prevent problems in the classroom. Also, staying organized may take time at first it will save you time in the future. This is especially important in elementary general music when you may have no time between classes. You need to have everything ready to go and organized before the day even starts. Staying organized will also allow you to be more flexible.
  4. Go With the Flow- As music teachers we have to be flexible and willing to go with the flow. So many times are schedules get messed up do to PSSA testing, field trips, special days etc. While this can be frustrating we need to be flexible and show that we are able to work around these challenges. You also have to be flexible for when something goes wrong in your classroom. For example, on my last day the CD player quit working in the middle of a song so instead of stopping I just kept going and we sang it a capella. If you are not good with just rolling with the punches, I would suggest getting some practice because I found that being flexible is a necessity as a teacher.
  5. Communicate– Believe it or not teaching can be a very lonely profession at times, but it doesn’t have to be. As a student teacher or even full-time teacher we need to always be communicating not only with the people around us, but also others through blogs, twitter, MPLN etc. There is so much we can learn from others and communicating with others can also help us realize that we are not the only ones going through a certain situation.
  6. Leave Your Comfort Zone-  I can’t stress enough the importance of getting comfortable and getting experience in all areas and being willing to go out of your comfort zone. There were so many times during the past weeks that I was stretched outside of my comfort zone such as teaching a drum set player and directing middle school choir, but I felt that these were some of the times when i learned the most. With the current education situation it is more important than ever that we are comfortable in all areas of music because you never know where you might end up!!
  7. Be a sponge– I believe as a teacher we should never be done learning. I heard a student teacher the other day say “I just want to be done student teaching because I have learned everything I need to.” Even when you feel like you have learned everything there is still more so try to soak up everything whether it is while you are teaching, observing, or even when you are eating in the faculty lounge. Also I have found that part of learning is finding out what you don’t want to do as a teacher as much as learning what you want to do. This goes back to what I have said in earlier posts, but don’t see anything as pointless in your undergraduate career!! You will be shocked at how much of this information you will use and you never know when one day you might need it.
  8. Be Proactive- While classroom management thankfully came fairly natural to me, it is still a challenge and I believe will be a challenge even after teaching for 30 years. I learned that one of the best things you can do is be proactive and try to stop bad behavior before it starts. You can do this by making your behavioral expectations extremely clear from the beginning and by correctly pacing your lessons to fit the needs of your students.
  9. Remember the Purpose– I have found that there is so much that we as teachers want to cover and teach that we often spend a lot of the class or rehearsal time talking about what we want or introducing a concept. We need to remember what both us and the students are there for; to MAKE MUSIC!! While of course there are things we have to teach through talking it is imperative to keep in mind that the students are there to play, sing, and make music. I taped one of my band rehearsals and was shocked at how much I talked during the rehearsal. By the end of my experience I taped one again and this changed drastically and the class period was much more productive. As my one co-op always told me Talk little, sing/play/do MUCH!!
  10. Passion– I think one of the biggest lessons I learned is to make sure you have true passion for what you are doing and find a way to relay that to your students. If your students can’t tell that you are passionate and care about what you are doing they won’t care either. Also, I found how demanding a teacher’s schedule is and without passion it extremely easy to get burn-out. I think some of the most rewarding times during my student teaching experience were when my students told me that they loved coming to my class because they could tell I loved music and were making them to love it also 🙂

While these are by no means all the lessons I learned while student teaching these are some of the ones that I felt were the most important and kept occurring over the last 14 weeks. These are all lessons that I believe that are imperative to learn early in our career to help us become the best music educators possible. Also I have found that most of the lessons listed above and ones that I have learned are things that you are not taught during your undergraduate courses!

I hope you have enjoyed following along on my student teaching journey with me and have been able to learn something from my experiences. I have really enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and they have been a great way for me to reflect upon what I have learned. Stay tuned for a post to come in the next few days on my tips for having a successful student teaching experience.

“The experienced teacher invited rather than compels the student and is pleased by the emergence of differences.”- Ernst Bacon

Unfortunately last week I was unable to post my reflection for the week so I am hoping to post both last weeks and just this past weeks experiences over the weekend. Last week I began to take over a few classes, but I was still mainly observing. While, of course I want to teach and get hands on experience there is a lot of valuable knowledge that you can learn just by carefully and closely watching to veteran teachers. It has also been a great experience because I am getting the opportunity to see two completely different approaches to elementary general music and two different styles of teaching. Teaching elementary general music is a completely different world than high school instrumental music is, but I am really enjoying it and feel that this placement is really challenging me and helping me to grow as a music educator in many ways. Since during last week i still didn’t take over many classes, I thought I would use this post to share a few of the main differences that I have found between teaching high school and elementary music.

Schedules-

At the elementary level the schedule is completely different than in high school. Below are some of the scheduling differences I have found between my two placements, bust I am sure these vary from every elementary to high school. One big change is with elementary I am at school a lot less. I arrive at school around 8 and leave at 3:30. In my high school placement I arrived around 7 or shortly after and usually stayed to close 5 for after school activities. It is great getting out earlier, but with that being said my schedule throughout the day is much busier at the elementary level. Most days we do not get a planning period throughout the day. Our only planning period is in the morning when the teachers get there and while the students are getting settled in. This makes for a long and tiring day. At my high school placement we had 1 planning period plus 1 or 2 study halls a day which was a great break. Travelling between buildings also makes the schedule at my elementary placement busier. Because of the lack of prep time most of the preparation has to be done outside of school because the morning is usually taken by helping students and laying out all of your materials for the entire day because most days we do not have ANY downtime between the classes.

Amount of Students-

At my high school placement I was able to get to know the students on a much more personal level which is something I really enjoy and feel is important. One thing I am struggling with at my elementary placement is not getting to know the students as well. I feel like in some of my classes I barely know the students and I am still struggling with learning names. This is a big change because a the high school level I saw a lot fewer students and most of them I saw a few times a day because they were in different ensembles. Now I only see the students once a week for 40 minutes and am at three different schools throughout the course of the week. I have 30 general music classes throughout the week which leads to me seeing close to 600 students in a week. This is definitely a challenge for me, but is part of what comes with teaching elementary general music.

Energy-

Another difference between high school and elementary general music is not only the amount of energy the students have, but the amount of energy that you must have to keep the students excited and engaged during the entire class period. Unfortunately at the high school level many times the students do not want to be there, but are forced to be there for some reason or another. Also the students at the high school level often have less energy because they have much more going on in their lives. On the other hand, elementary students have a ton of energy and for the most part seem to really enjoy music class. I really love this aspect because as the teacher you can feed off of their energy and really have a lot of fun. Going along with this I am more exhausted after teaching multiple general music classes than I was when I taught high school ensembles. I feel that elementary general music requires more focus and energy at all times. I am not saying that high school doesn’t require energy because it definitely does just in a different way.

Back to Basics-

The last major difference that I have noticed is at the elementary level you have to remember that you are going back to basics. This was a big adjustment for me because at the high school level we were working more on being musical and all the technical elements of music. With the elementary students you are working on all the extremely important fundamentals such as rhythm, melody, and steady beat. I have caught my self a few times going to much in-depth with a concept, not explaining something clear enough, or using too many musical terms that the students have not been introduced to yet. As elementary teachers we have to remember for some of the young students this is some of their first formal encounters with music. I love teaching the basics and beginning to instill a love of music into the students, but it is a completely different frame of mind from teaching high school. It is important to remember though, without these basics and teachers to teach our students these basics we would not be able to get into the higher level concepts with the high school students.

While switching from high school to elementary has been a huge change I am still really enjoying it. I love working with the younger students and love how much energy and excitement they bring into the classroom. Going into my student teaching experience I was hoping that I would get a better idea of what level I wanted to teach at. Unfortunately I have still don’t know. There are aspects I love about each level and now I am just enjoying teaching music no matter what level. Look for a post at the end of my experience reflecting what I enjoy and don’t enjoy as much about each both elementary and high school. This past week I just finished was full of challenges and a lot of lessons learned as I began to take over most of the classes. Look for another reflection post coming soon.

“Without music, life is a journey through a desert.” – Pat Conroy

This past week I switched placements and am now in elementary general music. I currently am in the Franklin Area School District in Franklin Pa. I travel between three of the elementary schools in the district and have two cooperating teachers; Mrs. Ann McCauley and Mrs. Jo Lynn Curll. Besides elementary general music we also have fifth and sixth grade and lessons. This week was definitely a week full of transitions and changes, but I am enjoying my experiences in the elementary classroom so far. This week I mainly observed, but I did get the chance to get in front of all the classes and tell them a bit about myself and I participated in all the class activities. Since I have not really gotten the opportunity to teach any classes yet I thought I would use this post to share  what I enjoy about this placement so far,  and the challenges I have faced and think that I am going to face in the upcoming seven weeks.

What I Enjoy About Elementary General Music

  1. Variety– With elementary general music there is so much variety and options in what you get to teach. Each week and with each grade level you are teaching different songs and concepts. General music leads itself to a plethora of options when it comes to what you want to teach and how you want to teach it. I love this because it helps you as the teacher to not become bored and it also keeps you on your feet because your are constantly teaching different lessons. Also with elementary general music there is such a variety of materials that you can use which gives you even more options and possibilities.
  2. Creativity– Elementary general music is all about creativity, which is something that I love. Not that you can’t be creative in high school, but there are only so many ways that you can run a rehearsal. General music allows and requires you to think out of the box and create lessons that will be fun and memorable for the students. You get to be creative in not only how you want to teach the material, but also there is some creativity involved with what you teach. If you are not creative when making lessons for elementary general music I believe that both you and your students will be bored and nothing will get accomplished.
  3. Teaching Lessons More than Once– Some people don’t like having to teach something more than once because they get sick of the songs, but personally I really enjoy that aspect of elementary general music. Getting to teach a lesson more than once is a great way to reflect and figure out what works and what doesn’t and how you can make the lesson better for the next class. With teaching a lesson multiple times you get the opportunity to go back and fix things that did not work or add things that you feel might make the lesson even stronger. For example, this week I haven’t done much teaching, but I have introduced myself to the classes and taking 10 minutes to tell the students a little about myself and answer any questions they might have. I caught myself changing things each time I did the introduction depending on how the students were reacting, what types of questions they were asking, and what I saw was working and what was not working.
  4. Student Energy-Teaching elementary general music takes a ton of energy, but this is one reason I love teaching this level of music. The students are so energetic and for the most part love coming to music class and singing. I love being able to play off their energy and just being able to have a lot of fun with them while still making sure that they are learning. In elementary classes the students are willing to do a lot more than high school students, because high schoolers feel that it is uncool to sing and be silly in music class. Because the students have so much energy I believe that gives the teacher even more energy and reflects in their teaching.
  5. Balancing Act– I believe that being and elementary general music teacher is a balancing which keeps things challenging, but also exciting at the same time. Elementary general music requires you to multi-task and be the wearer of many hats. You are required to sing, do silly motions, play piano, guitar while managing a class of 25 energetic five-year olds. This is why it is important to be a well-rounded musician and take advantage of all the learning opportunities you are given in your undergraduate career. General music often takes you out of your comfort zone which is another aspect that I like. I constantly like to be challenged in new ways and I feel that elementary general music does just that.

Challenges

  1. Less Down Time– One challenge from switch to elementary general music from high school is that there is much less down time. In high school we had a prep period, plus one or 2 study halls. In elementary general music you don’t have these and you have many more classes. For example a few days a week we have eight general music classes and the only break we get is twenty minutes for lunch. This makes for an exhausting day.
  2. Travelling Between Buildings-While I do enjoy this because I get to see how the building differ even within the same district it makes the schedule more challenging and busy. The days we have to travel cuts into the limited amount of prep time that we get. Also travelling is challenging because you have to make sure and take all the materials you need. An example of this is that last week my co-op forgot a book for her fifth grade lesson and the other elementary school. She was unable to teach the lesson without this book so she had to change her plans on the spot.  General music teachers have to be extremely organized and plan ahead due to travelling between multiple buildings.
  3. Multiple Cooperating Teachers– While I really enjoy having two cooperating teachers and getting to see two completely different teaching styles and approaches it is also going to be a challenge. First off they both want things done a little differently which makes things more challenging. The biggest challenge is that they don’t teach the same lessons so I am going to have almost double the amount of lessons plans than normal each week! While this is going to be a challenge and very time-consuming I am hoping that I will learn a lot and in the long run it will help me become a better music teacher.
  4. Planning-Elementary general music takes a lot more planning and organizing materials. Each week you have to prepare seven completely different lessons and most of the time each lesson includes anywhere between three to five songs or activities. With elementary general music not only do you have to write the lesson plan, but you also you often have to create supplementary materials, learn how to sing the songs, practice with CD’s, and be able to play the songs on the piano.
  5. Getting to Know the Students– Elementary general music teachers see tons of kids each week. I am going to be seeing close to 600 kids a week. A big challenge is going to be getting to know the students and learning their names. I really enjoyed getting to know the students in my high school placement, but I feel that I am not going to get to know these students as well just because of the sheer number of them.

While this experience is completely different from what I just came from, I am extremely excited to learn under two wonderful mentors. Also I am looking forward to being challenged in new ways and continue to grow as a music educator. I am really looking forward to the coming week as I will be beginning to take over part of the classes and will be teaching kindergarten, first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade lessons. I am sure that this week will be full of new challenges and learning experiences which I will share in next weeks reflection post.

“When one teaches, two learn”- Robert Half

Last week marked the halfway point of my student teaching experience and this past Monday I switched from high school instrumental to elementary general. Last week I was not able to write a reflection because I participated in the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band held at Juanita college. The band was under the direction of Dr. Mark Scatterday from Eastman School of Music. This was an incredible experience and I learned a lot of valuable information both as a performer and music educator. Dr. Scatterday gave a lot of great pointers for future music educators and shared a lot of stories, which as a current student teacher I was able to relate to quite well. I feel as teachers there are a lot of valuable lessons that we can learn through our own rehearsals and performances. My high school placement was a great experience and I feel that it helped me to grow tremendously as a music educator. While there were plenty o f hardships and challenges  I learned more  lessons than I ever could have imagined and began to find myself as a music educator. Over the past seven weeks I have shared a bunch of the lessons I have learned so instead of repeating those I thought I would share what I would do differently if I were given the opportunity to re-do this placement.

Things I Would Do Differently

  1. Be More Firm from the Beginning– If I were able to do my high school placement over again I would be more firm from the start. My first week or two of teaching I wasn’t very strict or firm with the students because I was trying to build relationships with them and didn’t want my firmness to hinder those relationships. Thankfully I was still able to gain respect and control of the classroom even though I didn’t start firm. Reflecting back on the experience I believe that I would have had less classroom management problems, especially at the beginning if I would have been more strict from the beginning. Especially as a young teacher it is important for the students to know that you are in charge and gain their respect. I believe that to do this you must be strict and let you expectations be known right from the beginning. I found that when I really pushed my students and raised my expectations they continually raised the bar to meet those expectations. On my last day many of my students even told me that they appreciated how hard I pushed them in rehearsals, which meant a lot to me.
  2. Capture Student Progress– Over the past seven weeks I noticed so much progress in my students playing and ability levels. From day one when I heard them until the night of the concert they sounded completely different. I was able to hear and see this progress on a daily basis, but now looking back I wish I would have captured this progress. If I were to re-do this experience I would record my students during the first week and then record them again during my last week. This way not only would I see the progress, but I could show the students how much they improved. This is also a great way to show the importance of your program and show that learning is taking place in your classroom.
  3. Establish Routines Quicker– This is hard as a student teacher because you mainly have to follow the routines that your cooperating teacher already has established. With that being said you are still able to establish a rehearsal routine that works for you and your teaching style. While I had a rehearsal routine by the end of the placement, I wish I would have established it earlier on. At the beginning of my placement I would do warm-ups and tuning, but I didn’t do it consistently because I was more focused on getting into the music and seeing where the students were at, so I would know what needed work. If I would have established these routines earlier on I believe it would have been easier for both me and the students and I would have saved myself some headaches when trying to establish these routines later in the placement.
  4. Be More Proactive– I feel that there are some areas where I could have been more proactive. While my classroom management skills improved over the course of the past seven weeks, I believe that if I would have been more proactive I would have been faced with less classroom management problems. One way to be proactive in regards to classroom management is to make sure that you clearly state your behavioral expectations from the beginning. This is something I really didn’t do because I figured my cooperating teacher already had these in place. While my co-op did have these expectations in place, reflecting back on the experience I realize that I should have made my behavioral expectations clear from the start.
  5. Rehearsal Techniques– While I was pleased with most of my rehearsal techniques and how my rehearsals went, there is one thing I would change. I continually struggled with getting the percussion to cooperate and participate during rehearsal (this is also something my co-op said she struggled with on a daily basis). A lot of the problem is that their parts are very easy for them and they feel that they don’t need to rehearse as much as the rest of the band. This was a daily challenge for me and many times I felt like just ignoring it so I could have a productive rehearsal with the rest of the band. If I were to do this placement over again I would find more rehearsal strategies and techniques to involve the percussion so that they participate and aren’t bored.

These past seven weeks have definitely been some of the most challenging/stressful, but yet best weeks of my undergraduate career. Over the past weeks there have been a lot of eye-opening experiences that have really made me think and grow as an educator. Going into this placement I was a little nervous because I never saw myself as a high school band director, but I can definitely say that my opinions have changed and I can easily see myself teaching high school instrumental music. Leaving my students was definitely a bittersweet feeling. I am excited to move on and see what new experiences lie ahead, but it is also hard to leave the students that I have worked with for the past seven weeks. This week I got to conduct 2 numbers at their concert. This was an amazing experience and was great to see and hear how much the students grew over the past seven weeks. While the performance by no means was perfect, I am confident that both the students and I learned a lot, which is what matters the most.   This past week I started my elementary placement which is full of new challenges and experiences. Be looking for a reflection post on my experiences during my first week in elementary general music within the next few days.