Student Teaching, SDMEA, and Remembering Reasons

Student teaching is seriously getting better all the time.  However, I still have a long ways to go.  I’ve been praying that the Lord will show me direction and all that.  How do I even know I want to be a band teacher?  I heard somebody say that they had wanted to be a band director since 7th grade.  Um, I made the decision my junior year to finish college and “we’ll see what happens next.”  But this band teacher thing….I kind of like it.  But I still question?  Ugh, I digress.

Today (Friday), I went to SDMEA (South Dakota Music Educators Association) instead of school (excused, of course).  I always love clinics and stuff, because I learn things that I didn’t even know I needed to know.  One session was called, “Why Didn’t I Learn That in College?”.  The simple answer being there’s no time.  Also, I am super thankful to Dr. Schilf for teaching us a whole lot more in Secondary Methods than other people learned in their undergrad programs.  Like that marching band drill we had to write?  It wasn’t much, but it was at least SOME experience.  Writing a budget?  Mapping out exactly what we’d like in a band room if we got to help design it (a woman who graduated from Augie when I was a junior was actually asked that and, wa-lah!  She had ideas already).  During that session, we were told that in student teaching, one will learn more than all the previous years of college.  And during the first year of teaching, one will learn more than student teaching and college combined.  I stayed after and talked with the presenter about putting my foot in the door and looking for a job in Kentucky.  Oh my gosh, did he tell me some good stuff!  Like to look up all of the schools near Pikeville and watch their pages for job postings.  And to even find the contact info for the band directors at those schools and shoot them an email, introducing myself or something (to get my name out there).  To go on to the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) website and look for job postings there (but I think they’d all go on the national page, anyway?).  I seriously made a list today.  Now, a lot of the middle schools don’t even HAVE a band director listed, but I’ll call the schools and check it out.  I also talked to a friend on Tuesday who moved up to Sioux Falls to student teach when she didn’t know anybody here.  She said to talk to everybody.  So I’ll ask here, first.  Anybody know of some young women in Pikeville, KY, looking for a roommate next year?  (Never too early, right?)

About when I was finishing up my general music placement and just this last week, I remembered why I actually did want to be a band director.  I want to teach these kids music.  In band, they’re either there because they want to be or because Mom and Dad say so.  But even if Mom and Dad say so, they’ll eventually love it, probably.  If they play through high school.  I want to teach kids to play their instruments CORRECTLY so that they won’t want to quit because they don’t know what’s wrong and it’s too hard to fix later.  I love the light in the eyes of a student when he or she discovers what a key is for or that they can get a partial higher than they thought they could.  I love being surrounded by music and sharing my love of it with students.  I love having relationships with students, so we can talk about life other than band.  I love talking about band, of course, and I love watching a student improve.  It is such a great feeling.  To know that they know more than they did, or that they can play better than before?  My day is simply made.  A random high-five when I’m walking through the commons, a “Hi, Ms. Olson,” in the hall or even as a student is leaving the band room, a lesson going so successfully well and the students don’t talk out of line but respond to me as I direct from the podium.

I feel like these last few days, I’ve been in a good mood in general.  Which is way better than the “I don’t want to move or do anything” mood I had toward the beginning of the week whenever I’d get home from school.  Even though Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I don’t get to talk during most of the week (like either of us has time!?), we still email and text and he makes me smile and points me to Christ all at once.  We got to know each other better through snail mail, you know.  And emails just get better and better as we get closer (even though we live 10 hours apart).  I feel like that’s a topic for a different post.  Or girl talk.  Whichever.  (Gush.)

Smiley Face,


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