To quote Geddy Lee and RUSH, I have had ‘One little Vic-tor-reEE’ today in my last 48 hours in my 3rd year of teaching. I try to avoid bragging (if you can call this story that) on this forum because that is not what I intended to do at all with it. When I started at my current job I was fresh out of College and was searching for what I considered to be a dream job, teaching a High School Band program. I didn’t really take much regard into looking at what that might entail as part of the gig, I just wanted a Band to call my own. As I have now reflected to realize, I was not prepared to teach Choir in any way, shape, or form. I thought I knew how to teach Choir but there was a ton more research and personal growth that I had to go through.
But why share that? Well, the first year that I taught there was a Senior who point-blank told me that ‘I am not in Choir to sing, I am here to get an A and have fun’. In that moment and still to this day I am confused by that statement, why be in a class just for an A and to have fun. Smarter and in the future me now knows that I had failed her in that moment, I had missed the point that she was making towards me. It wasn’t that she was not wanting to be a part of the class…it was that I was
trying to teach them how to hold pitch missing the reason that she was there. I changed the way I taught Choir trying to give them more freedom, allowing them to sing what they wanted, while at the same time as having them work with songs I want to work with them on. Tomorrow is graduation and the Senior members of Choir this year (semester) wanted to sing the National Anthem. Today at our practice for it I was expecting 5 students to show up to participate. I hold told this semester’s kids to tell previous semester kids, but if they said no I understood. I had 12 students show up this morning not only excited to sing for their peers but encouraging me to drop what I was doing and to work with them.
This is where that small victory lies. Having that many students show up to participate…now WANT to participate is awesome. I tried that my first year and only 1 student showed up (Solo!) I was excited that the time I had spent tending to my choir garden I finally have some flowers. I know that I am not anywhere near where I should be to properly teach them, but through my growth, the program has grown too. To me…that is one little victory.