The New World

Tonight was the last day of band camp for my daughter.  Parents were invited to see a preview of their new field show called The New World.  The theme of the field show is outer space.

My husband and I are new to the whole marching band thing.  All I can say is wow!  The band marched (without instruments), and they called the counts out loud.  The formations were very intricate.  Everyone looked together as a cohesive unit.  To my eyes they looked great.  My daughter told me later that there were some mistakes, but I couldn’t tell.

I was very impressed with all they had learned in a short amount of time.  I thought of my daughter who has never marched before in her life.  The first day she was totally overwhelmed with all the information that was being thrown at her.  One night she came to me and said she didn’t understand how to read the formations.  She didn’t understand the terminology.  I felt bad because I couldn’t help her.  I do not have marching band experience.  I can see why someone would want to quit.  She wanted to give up, but she didn’t.  When she came to me and said she finally got it, I was so happy for her.  It is amazing to see how far she has come.  She is improving everyday.

I am going to make sure I take this lesson with me into the classroom.  When my students are feeling frustrated, I need to encourage them to keep going and not give up.  Eventually things will begin to make sense.  I am also thinking that when times get tough, students need to feel supported.  I am sure this is what happened with my daughter.  The veteran band members help each other out.  They encourage the freshmen to ask questions if they don’t understand something.

I want that feeling of community and camaraderie to happen in my classroom.  I know it’s up to me to make that happen.  It’s going to be a whole new world for my students and me.  I know there may be some setbacks, but if we work together, we can accomplish anything.  I am hoping this will be an awesome year.

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Have No Fear

This year one of my daughters decided to become a member of the competitive marching band at our high school.  If anyone has ever had a child in marching band, you know it is a huge commitment.  My husband and I encourage our kids to get involved in school activities, and we want to support them in any way we can.  We were happy that she wanted to be a part of the band.

If you knew my daughter, you would know she is the type of person who likes a bit of control.  She likes to know what will happen ahead of time.  She doesn’t like to be surprised.  As an incoming freshman, the marching band thing is causing her a bit of anxiety.  She doesn’t know what to expect.  Everything is brand new, and it is upsetting to her.  Yesterday was the first day of band camp.  When she got home, she said she wanted to switch to the non-competitive marching band.  Somehow my husband and I knew that would be coming, but we encouraged her to continue for the rest of the week.  We had already committed to competitive band emotionally and financially.  We tried to explain to her that it was her first day, and that it would get easier as time went on.  I think she just felt a bit overwhelmed by all the new information.

My daughter’s experience reminds me of what I am going through right now.  For a teacher, the beginning of the school year brings excitement, but also anxiety.  I think it is that fear of the unknown.  My friend, Linda, a kindergarten teacher and SDAWP fellow, made a comment to me the other day.  She said she was the kind of teacher who was not afraid to take risks.  She said she was not afraid to “crash and burn.”  I love her attitude.  I wish I could be more like that, but the truth is that I have a fear of crashing and burning.  Linda says those moments when things don’t quite work out is when she learns the most.  She becomes a better teacher.

I am also thinking of my students who are probably feeling a bit of anxiety as the new school year approaches.  It’s a new year with a new teacher, so I am really going to try and remember not to be too scary in the beginning.  I have to remember to bring that positive energy into my classroom.  I cannot let my fear of the unknown overwhelm me, because I think my students can sense that.  And, I am going to keep my friend, Linda, in the back of my mind and have no fear.  It is okay to crash and burn.  That’s how we better ourselves.