On Backpacks, Books, and Ballpoint Pens

It’s the start of a new school year, and in many districts throughout  the country, schools started up as early as three weeks ago.

My city is one of those who embraces the August return, so I’ve been back at work, despite the waning days of summer

One point about my guest teaching is that I’ve seemed to create my own niche of obtaining long-term stints—filling in for medical leaves, unfilled posts, etc. It’s a real blessing as I get to establish lasting bonds with the teachers, students, families,  and administrators with my assigned schools, and also reinforces the fact that ALL teachers, whether regularly assigned or in a more fluid way, are following a true calling to enrich the lives of every child that sits under their tutelage.

On the other hand, it involves doing the work for that subject—the lessons, conferences, and professional development that occasionally can be daunting. But being originally trained for teaching, it’s like riding a bike—those learned habits really never leave.

This year was no different from the others, as I witnessed a an endless parade of shiny new [and expensive!] backpacks waiting to be filled with textbooks and homework. Due to warm weather, shorts were often the order of the day when temps soared in the 90’s. Bu t most kids were excited anyway—glad to be back in the routine of class, lunch, and recess.

After years of teaching Spanish to urban grade-schoolers, my new learning “pool” to swim in is General Music, which is what I was originally trained for—Music Education.

So coming full circle, it’s been very interesting to see how my current crop of  kids at my two schools have little connection with the traditional formats, and are much more knowledgeable about hip-hop, rap, iPods, rather than the orchestral families. 

So the new challenge has been handed to me, and we’ll see how this season’s clay will take shape in creating not mere urns of spouting facts, but  evolving into endless spouts for expansion.

Kids_Running

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