Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better Luck Next Year

I've been playing Solitaire alot while I've been thinking alot about how to avoid what I ended up with this school year. I am definitely getting good at Solitaire, so at least that is good.

1. Ask more questions at the interview so I know what the position really is.
2. Make sure I know the situation with an accompanist.
3. Find out why the last teacher left. retirement, money, whatever. It all makes a difference in setting the tone.
4. Don't take a position with too many preps. I had 4 and no idea that I would be stuck with so much piano. Class piano is very difficult to teach.
5. Audition kids and kick out the ones that can't sing.
6. Kick out kids with low GPAs or you will never be able to take kids to performances off campus.
7. Classroom management is key. I really don't like it and I didn't think I would have the problems I did. I am investigating the concept of classroom meetings so that kids have a role in discipline problems. This will help them develop maturity and social responsibility and take the onus off me.

In some ways,I won't have to worry about the same things. This is an unusual community. I teach in.

I'm going to play more Solitaire.


Can Bass 1 said...

Indeed, but don't despair (or play excessive solitaire)! Can Bass to the rescue: first, as you say, 'kick out' all those kids who can't sing. We're plagued with them here in the cathderal choir, and it always ends in tears (the Precentor's, usually); next, insist on one-to-one tuition of the piano. Dear Lord Above, how is one to teach so many pupils all at once? I never teach more than one pupil at a time, unless I feel there is a distinct benefit to all concerned (i.e. double fees for me!); finally, you must tell the Principal (or Headmaster, or whatever). He or she must know your feelings, and you MUST NOT SPARE HIM/HER! Oh no. I vent my spleen regularly at choir committee meetings, and look what it has done for me. Actually, perhaps you should go easy on that last one. But good luck! And keep posting!

Mark said...

Sounds like hard-won knowledge. :-}

Speaking of which, my phone didn't save your info last Saturday! So this is the only way I have to get in touch. Not sure if it's against "blog rules" but you can e me if you want to:
markkday2003@yahoo.cpm works. Thanks!

ProfSeeman said...

You make some good points above.
However, I also think that this can be helpful to you:
Go to: http://www.panix.com/~pro-ed/

If you get this book and video: PREVENTING Classroom Discipline Problems, [they are in many libraries, so you don't have to buy them] email me and I can refer you to the sections of the book and the video [that demonstrates the effective vs. the ineffective teacher] that can help you.

[I also teach an online course on these issues that may be helpful to you at:
www.ClassroomManagementOnline.com ]

If you cannot get the book or video, email me and I will try to help.
Best regards,


Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus,
City Univ. of New York