I was observed while directing the choir today. I did better than yesterday (with my new understandings), and am beginning to convince myself to feel optimistic (though I know that phrasing makes me sound bitter...give me a break, it's late).
I finally got to play another discussion-worthy piece for Theory today. It's from one of my favorite movies, Les Choristes, so we ended up talking about that a little bit, too. It was also an exciting lesson because I introduced them to triads. I just get giddy thinking about how they're catching a glimpse of approaching theory as if it were a ship approaching from the horizon — they can make out its general shape and purpose, but have no idea of the detail and grandeur that will eventually arrive.
The 1st GM class of the day is essentially a full day ahead of the rest. Tomorrow, however, I will begin lecturing on the first unit, and am preparing myself for a slowing of pace. The last class of the day $&#*ed up our practice fire drill. They talked and goofed off and one even rudely imitated me calling her name when going through the roster outside. I was mad, and I think they caught on when I told them that they were so disrespectful that we'll do it again tomorrow.
Oh, fine. I'll provide some pedagogical reflection. I vacillate on my thoughts of the function of punishment in class. It's very easy to mistakenly create a punishment out of something that shouldn't be viewed that way by a student. Practicing a fire drill, for example...if they think of it as a punishment, am I risking having students think more about negative things than about safety when a real evacuation has to occur? Furthermore, I strive to educate them on much more than just music; I would like them to understand the why of procedures like this. If I don't see value in it, why should they? Lastly, when I get angry, I inspire (or at least signal that I want to inspire) fear from them. Fear = not educationally beneficial. If, instead (and more likely suited to my personality), I am disappointed, I inspire guilt in them. Guilt = not a feeling a student should have when entering a classroom. Ultimately, I think Mrs. D would remind me how quickly students get over things like that, and that swift punishment is vital to preventing a disruptable/distractable environment.
La Nuit (from Les Choristes by Bruno Coulais)