Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I sort of bombarded Theory today with a fair amount of major/minor key identification within written music and then ended the class with something completely contrary to the guidelines I introduced; a twelve-tone piece by Webern!  They're treating the approach of my departure like most students treat the approach of the holiday break, even blatantly saying things like, "You're about to leave, don't bother trying to teach us new stuff!"  I have been anyway, but tomorrow won't be heavy material and Friday will just be a fun listen-to-music day.

General Music went really well.  A modified schedule today placed the crazy fury-inducing class first.  I set up the chairs in an outward-facing circle and put a sticky note on each desk (I'm kind of proud of this idea).  If they spoke once without permission, I would remove the sticky note.  If they spoke again and did not have a sticky note on their desk, they would receive a detention.  It turns out I was so clear with them that I didn't have to take away even a single sticky note.  Mrs. D was very happy about these results, as well.  I was even able to extend the effect to other classes by telling them about what made me mad and what I did about it, letting them know that I was still prone to boiling over.  They behaved, too.  Tomorrow, my last day with them, should be fun.

I think I get the difference now between being cruel and being authoritative.  With certain students, respect for the teacher is earned by demonstration of authority, and after that point is when it's most wise to let them learn to like the teacher too.  I don't yet have a perfect understanding of how to reconcile this with my other idealistic ideas about promoting self-regulation and mutual respect, but I've made a big step.

We held my final evaluation meeting today.  I turned in everything that I needed to turn in, received letters of recommendation, and was told that I'm being given a 4 in student teaching.  :)

Wie Bin Ich Froh (Anton Webern) - Christiane Oelze & Eric Schneider


  1. Your cooperating must be very proud! Sounds like you did a great job, and that you have learned and grown a lot. The circle was a great idea!

    Before you can expect self-regulation and mutual respect, you have to teach it. The quiet time in the circle shows you and the students that they can stay quiet and follow rules. The next step is to have them be able to do it outside the circle of chairs, and outside the circle of your control. Mutual respect will come from them working with you as they begin to understand the importance of what you ask of them and why. The promotion of your ideals has to start with the teaching of them. Children need to be shown the way, some more often than others. :)

  2. DC - 4 out of 4, as in a GPA scale. An 'A'.

    Anonymous - Gee, you're really smart.