So, just in case anyone was wondering, being a first year teacher is really hard. Being the only one who teaches your subject is even harder. Not coming in to an established system is maybe the hardest thing of all. I have to develop my own curriculum, something that will fit my students’ needs and be within my ability to teach effectively. Who would have thought that teaching music could be so hard?
See, most adults experience a lot of what I call “crate teachers,” the ones who have their worksheets and handouts ready to go from 20 years ago. All they have to do is pull out that crate and send the teacher’s aid to make copies. In music it is even worse, some teachers have a rotation of a few pieces that they do every few years without looking for new stuff. On top of that, most band and choir teachers only teach applied skills.
Why is that a problem? Well, in pretty much every state there are standards for education in pretty much every subject, even music. Those standards ask me to teach my students the history and theory of music, not just the applied playing skills. So going back to my original problem: I am coming into a school where there is no established theory or history curriculum to build on, I simply have to build my own.
Even a simple curriculum requires research and planning. I have no illusions that I will have this thing completed before the school year starts, that is not even a remote possibility. If I’m lucky I’ll get enough a few weeks ahead before I start coaching the junior high football (small schools… Lucky I’m just an assistant)