Mrs. D couldn't come to school today, so I was on my own (with a sub) again. She warned me of this possibility last night and we thought up some things to do.
I intend to make much closer observation of how Mrs. D keeps the attention of the choir. The idle chatter is no different than that of the 7th graders (in fact, today it was worse), but the effect is compounded by the large number of students. I focused on projecting my voice better and being clear and deliberate in my statements and directions. I was still asked once if I could speak louder, but louder required yelling. I could get them all to be quiet when I asked, but it just wouldn't last once I returned my attention to the music. I shouldn't have to yell throughout an entire rehearsal...right?
GM went well, except the second class conspired to create both the weirdest and the funniest moments of the day. At the beginning of class a couple students had heard that someone related to someone is sick (in no grave way) and a student loudly asked if they could pray for him. I said, "You can do whatever you want," and turned to continue class, but she persisted, "No, I mean can we all pray together?" I responded with, "No, that would be inappropriate," and eventually ended with a lame fallback on education courses teaching me that it's inappropriate. I'm a bit sad that I feel so afraid to make any statement regarding religion that I felt the need to use courses I've taken as an excuse for doing the right thing. I want to be able to give a real response, and I shouldn't have to be afraid to explain why religious endorsements aren't appropriate in public schools, but I am. There's nothing I can do now except dodge, dodge, dodge.
Fret not! I still have to tell you about the best part of the day. That class had students asking, "How do you whistle?" So I actually took a few minutes at the end of class to try to teach them how to whistle. That was great.
Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes