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May 21, 2015 / sharoncopy

DAYS 124 and 125

Day 124 in Plymouth, elementary school. Mostly, it was walking day! I monitored the “morning stuff” and a writing assignment. I had fun reading some of their creative stories out loud with great expression and it seemed to encourage more kids to want theirs read. Then at 10:30 the VP walked them to their M-STEP test and I read a novel until noon when they returned. 12:05 I walked them to recess and went to lunch. 1 pm I got back just in time (actually a minute or two late due to my car’s clock being wrong) and walked them down the hall from the lunchroom to the gym (about 60 feet – really? – these are sixth graders!) Went back to the class and read my novel and started a sketch of one corner of the classroom. At 1:55 I went and walked them to the other side of the building for art class – but, wait – I had to take afternoon attendance first so I lined them up in the hall to do that – since it was non-routine, it took way longer than it should have. At 2:55 or so I went and walked them back to the classroom, where some of them read, others drew pictures quietly, and about half left to go finish their M-STEP test. End of the day – some sub days are like this, but this is the MOST free time I’ve had – even so, they were glad to have me walk the kids around rather than having to get someone else to keep track of it and do it.

Day 125  Band Leader!

Plymouth Middle School – I subbed for the band leader – a Prime section (that’s Homeroom) followed by 5 classes of 8th, 7th and 6th grade bands. The teacher had chosen students to lead each song – but I quickly found that they needed some assistance, and also realized that I was more qualified to lead the pieces than most of them. One 7th grade girl was quite a good leader and several others did the task well. Some were shy and soft spoken and didn’t really do much to lead.
I encouraged them to tap the baton on the music stand to keep rhythm so that the 40+ people would have SOME standard to follow – most did it – in some cases I did it instead. I made some of the younger kids re-do some of their warmup scales because they were so awful. They tried to tell me that they were supposed to sound like that. Okay – maybe I haven’t been a band leader, but decades of choral work qualify me to tell when a unison do-re-mi line is NOT being played in unison. 🙂

It gave me confidence to know that I can handle subbing for band – after all, I don’t have to teach them HOW to play the instruments – just encourage them to try to hit the right notes, and count time.

One of the songs is “All About the Bass” and after I had admonished one boy for talking too much, I said I didn’t want any   trouble, to which another boy quipped, in melody, “No treble.”   I thought it was pretty clever. I left notes for the teacher regarding how well each class cooperated. The eighth graders will not be happy.

Even though they are young musicians, I really enjoyed getting to listen to music all day – Star Wars, Dueling Dragons, Imagine, John Williams medley, etc. Though it was sometimes a challenge to get them to quiet down, it was a very pleasant day.

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