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May 4, 2015 / sharoncopy

DAY 117 – Back to half and half

Out of Montessori as a regular, so – this morning I was the Music teacher at a Plymouth Elementary School, and this afternoon I was the Phys. Ed. teacher for 6th grade at a Livonia school. It was a good day, overall, though a bit hot and tiring.

Music: I’m such a techno-phobe. The teacher actually sent me lesson plans via email last night and I thought – wow – I have to find a bunch of CDs and play them on a machine I’m not used to? So – I got there plenty early and spent the first half hour finding everything and figuring out how to use the old CD player with a carousel inside of it. The directions, as is often the case, did not give every step, but I was able to figure it out. Yay! I wasn’t concerned about leading singing, having them do songs I didn’t know, or even about letting one class play ukeleles. Only the CD player was daunting! Sigh. Believe it or not, I have learned a lot – just don’t tell me to “figure it out”. (Note: Last week at Montessori, I asked 5 staff members to get the laptop/projector working and none of them – including the male principal – could help  – finally found one teacher who knew how to do it.)

So – first class – distributed their song books, played the songs and they sang through them twice. At the end I asked for favorites and we sang two more songs. One girl asked for “Amazing Grace” which the class had not done before. I went ahead but told the class they could either sing it or sit quietly. Didn’t want to get into any public-school-dilemma. I had heard two of the kids’s songs but never sung them. I sang along as best I could with notes that move faster than I can decipher and apply them. Then they got to “God Bless America.” Okay, so I like to perform – have done this one at at least one 4th of July community event. So I sang out. It was fun seeing the looks on their faces – surprise, but also appreciation. I went up on the last note and held it firmly, long, and loud. They all broke into applause, so I did a silly bow. Then we sang it the second time, and I had them stand up and I said, “Sing it like you mean it!” and we all sang out loud and clear (okay, I was still the loudest, but it was great!)

Ukelele class – my guitar playing came in handy – first time I’ve ever held, let alone played, a ukelele. Pretty easy. Had them practice two chords and tried to play it together for awhile, then they just practiced by themselves. Pretty noisy with 30 ukeleles being randomly strummed. Clean up time – two people who were NOT asked to help put them away decided they thought they could be helpful – which led to crowding – which led to a drum set being tipped over – which led to me shouting and them all meekly sitting down quietly. Chastised the two girls and let the teachers know what happened. Not intentional, but neither were they following instructions.

First grade – played a few songs on the CD player, taught them (you guessed it) the Pizza Hut song. One girl stood stock still, didn’t smile, or sing. I wonder if she spoke English, but I didn’t ask. Very strange. Then again, perhaps she thought what we were doing was very strange, but they do songs with motions often.

2nd half: 4 classes, all the same: shuttle runs. My job was to keep everyone under control and time the two runners using two stopwatches. Overall it was fun and went well. The exception was the few clueless people who would wander out into the race area instead of going around, or ask me a question when I was timing people. “Ready, Set, Go!” I suppose I said that at least 130 times today. Must admit that a couple of times I messed up on one timer or another and estimated their results. A few of the kids took the race very seriously, trying again and again to beat their initial time. 🙂 I’m not sure what the distance was. It all reminded me of Dixon Elementary School “a few years ago” and all that Presidential Fitness Certificate stuff.

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