Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chat: What is your school like?

I hate reading things over and over again, so the last thing I want to do here is something that I know annoys me but I thought this was something worth revisiting.  Last year I posed this same question and so here it is again because I know that there have been many changes at my school.  It's always interesting to hear how things are done at another school.

What is your school like?

Enrollment:  1,000ish.  That's over 150 more children than we had last year and more come every day!!!

Music Teachers:  The Strings teacher and me!  The strings teacher is at our school two afternoons a     week, during specials, to work with students who have signed up for the class.  

Schedule:  We are on a 16 day schedule but I see my students twice back to back within that 16 days (possibly 18 soon!).  So, the classes I saw on Monday/Tuesday were the same classes.  I will see a new set Wednesday/Thursday.  I'm not sure of the average number of kids per class just yet since it is so early in the year and I haven't looked that far ahead at my class rosters.  :)

Duty:  I know, I wrote duty!  :)  I watch the 1st graders while they sit outside their classroom during morning arrival; about 30 minutes.  During dismissal, I stand outside by the bike rack and help keep bike riders and parents from crashing into each other!

Ensembles:  This year I will only have one after school group, chorus.  I'm limiting my numbers this year because we have grown so much.  I'm thinking 60 will be a good number.

In addition to these basics, what are some of the things that make your program special?


  1. Enrollment: 1300 or so (It's a K-8 school in an urban district)

    Music Teachers: I am one of 3 teachers - We divide general music (I get 3-7 and Inclusion, the chorus teacher has K-2, and the band teacher has 8)

    Schedule: We work on a 5 day extended-day schedule (7:45-3:45): I see each class once a week for 45 minutes. Ensemble groups are in pull-out lessons, with no scheduled ensemble time

    Duty: I work the breakfast program (about half an hour before school every day, as well as watch a sixth grade class for lunch. I am also a homeroom buddy for a 7th grade class.

    Ensembles: I teach the strings program and have started guitar - a couple of middle schoolers approached me at the end of last year to start a club for pop songs in a solo setting (inspired by Glee), and I am all for it, it's just figuring out when I could do so. Since all three teachers were at the school for the first time last year (one teacher was a veteran in the district, the band teacher and myself were first year teachers, we are still in the gradual recruitment phase.

    Thank you so much for your great posts and products - you are a great resource and helped me stay sane for my first year of teaching!

    1. Ooh, 1300! We are on our way there. Got any tricks for learning names? It's nice that you have a few music teachers, must be nice to bounce ideas off one another.

      I'm so glad you are finding my posts helpful. I remember what my first year was like and sometimes I was afraid to ask questions. I was hoping that sharing what I do may help someone else.

  2. I am the only general music teacher in my district. I teach K-4 and have approx. 450 students. My town is a small, rural place with close to 5,000 residents.
    We are on an A-B schedule which means I see my students for 40 minutes 2 times one week and 3 the next. I see kindergarten and first grade everyday for 20 minutes. I teach 13 classes a day.
    Extra duty is once a week watching students with another teacher in the morning before school starts in our gym.
    I have on vocal ensemble that meets after school once a week for an hour. We are fortunate to be sponsered by our local arts council. This year a wonderful choral director who is retired will be directing with me. I am very excited to learn from her!
    I have one ensemble that is recorder club that meets at the end of the day a couple days a week during the last nine weeks. It is open to any student who has received their brown belt. We have some new tenor recorders this year so that should be an added incentive.
    I really enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing and have a great year!

  3. Wow! What responsibility to teach the whole district. Seeing the kids two to three times a week sounds great. I would imagine they retain things well with that frequency.

    Recorder club sounds like fun! It's something that I would love to do yearly but it's hard to fit everything in.

    Thank you! Happy School Year to You! :)

  4. Enrollment: I teach in the Lower School (elementary) division of a private school with a total enrollment JrKindergarten through Fourth Grade of 970. Our Lower School has about 320 students.
    Schedule: I see everyone 3 x per 9 day rotation; JrK, K, and first grade for 30 minutes per class, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for 40 minutes per class.
    Music Teachers: I am the Lower School Music teacher and in our Middle and Upper School divisions we have 2 chorus teachers (1 is part-time), 2 band teachers and 1 strings teacher. We also have private studio teachers who teach after school.
    Duty: I have 1 morning duty and 1 afternoon duty (Tuesdays) and 2 lunch duties per 9 day rotation.
    Ensembles: I have an after school Orff Ensemble that we are starting (again) this coming spring.

    1. Oh- and love your blog.. mine is C'mon in!

    2. Thanks for sharing what your school is like. Ooh, Orff Ensembles are so much fun! The group of kids I had last year were sooooo much fun. I really enjoyed this smaller group experience. Hope you have a great time with yours this year.


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