A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Teacher Questionaire

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all of my educator friends. Hug a teacher today!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I have a little survey about teaching.

I forget where I found this questionnaire but if you have seen it somewhere else, let me know and I will provide a link!

Why did you become a teacher? I became a music teacher more due to the music part than the teaching part. Growing up, I loved singing, dancing, playing the piano, and playing the clarinet in band. Those were the things I enjoyed doing, so it made sense to make them my career. (My dream job was to perform on Broadway, but even at 17 I was self aware enough to know that wasn't in the cards!)

How long have you been a teacher? This is my 13th year teaching music. Before that, I was a substitute for 8th grade English for half a year.

What schools have you taught at? I subbed at various schools in PA, long term subbed at Upper Dauphin Middle School, and taught full time at East Pennsboro Elementary School.

What grades/courses have you taught? I taught 8th grade English when subbing. Now, I teach general music to K-4 and 4th grade chorus. I teach 3rd grade the recorder and 4th grade the ukulele. In the past, I have taught Life Skills music to elementary, middle, and high school.

Where did you go to college and what was your major? My undergrad was at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and my major was Music Ed as a vocal major and piano minor. My graduate studies were at Wilkes University and I earned an M.Ed. in Educational Development and Strategies. I am not currently working toward another masters or doctorate, but I wouldn't rule out a second masters in the future. (Not the near future.)

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher? My favorite thing is that I get to experience music with kids all day long. I get to encourage them to be creative, have fun, take risks, and create music.

What is your least favorite thing about being a teacher? When students choose not to work to the best of their abilities. It's so frustrating. My other least favorite thing is that when I am not feeling 100%, I still have to be "on" all day.

Will you be a teacher forever? Most likely.

How has teaching changed since you started? Security in buildings has changed a lot. Under no circumstances can you get past the office without your criminal background and child abuse checks done. There are a lot more standardized tests than there used to be. There are new teacher rating systems. At the elementary school, there are less "fun" things. We used to do a Halloween parade and parties but no more. Security really changes a lot of things.

If you could teach anything other than music, what would you teach? I'd teach an elementary methods course at the college level. That's basically teaching music education majors HOW to teach elementary music. (Although I really think you don't know how to do it until you DO it.)

Would you recommend others go into the teaching profession? Only if you have a passion for it.

What is a major misconception about teachers? That we are baby-sitters and don't have a hard job.

If you had an extra $100 to spend in your classroom, what would you buy? $100 doesn't go very far but I think I would buy new crayons because mine are pretty crappy right now. I'd also buy something better to keep my boomwhackers in. Right now, they are in a broken cardboard box.

Any embarrassing teaching moments you are willing to share? Sure! I once hit a kid in the face by accident! It was my first year teaching and it was back when I didn't have my own classroom- I pushed a cart from room to room. Well, I was standing in a circle with a class of 1st graders and I was talking. But I talk with my hands, so I was flailing my hands around and accidentally hit a kid called Matthew in the face! His classroom teacher was in the room and I remember her shouting, "You're FINE Matthew!" I was mortified and I will never forget that!!!!!!

Another first year teaching story: I told the first graders, "Clear all the crap off your desk." They GASPED. That was the day I found out "crap" was a bad word!

What is the best thing/worst thing about your profession?

What is a misconception about your profession?

Do you think you will be in your line of work for the rest of your life?

Any funny job stories?


  1. Replies
    1. https://www.amazon.com/Boomwhackers%C2%AE-Major-Diatonic-Scale-BWDG/dp/B00004TT3F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525870389&sr=8-1&keywords=boomwhacker

  2. Love those stories!! I'm not sure I have any funny job stories - I mean, we do have some fun in IT, but nothing stands out. I'm glad you love the recorder. Zach has been playing his A LOT lately and we have to beg him to stop. He's driving us crazy!!

    1. I bet of your funny IT stuff is things we wouldn't understand unless we knew IT? Like a story that ends with, "And they she asked if it was rojector that need turned and I was like, LADY, no, it's your ballencaster that needs amplified!!!"

      Wait, what grade is Zach in that he is playing the recorder? Or is he just getting his old one out for "fun"? (Did I just use recorder and fun in the same sentence!?)

  3. OMG babysitters who don't have a real job? People actually think that? Holy cow.

    I think a misconception about my profession is that everything is either all Mad Men style where we sit in a boardroom smoking, drinking and coming up with slogans. Either that or we create online ads using private information that we've somehow stolen or creeped on you to obtain. In reality it's nothing like either of those two situations, although on the rare occasion we will have a Mad Men style boardroom meeting with the whole creative team to come up with one ad concept but it's rare.

    1. Sometimes ESPECIALLY with music they think it's just baby-sitting.

      I'm trying to think if I have a preconceived notion of what you do, but I don't because I feel like I know what your workday is like a lot of the time- working hard at your desk with Cecil wrapped around your neck! Now come on, where is the tv show for THAT?

  4. I love this survey- it's neat to learn more about you. It's so neat that you're a music teacher because that seems to be a pretty competitive profession- most schools only have 1-2 music teachers compared to a lot more teachers for things like math or English.

    It seems like kids have way less fun at school now with all the security. I remember having field day, parades in the hallways, and other fun stuff. I don't think they do that now and it's really sad. Kids hardly have recess or PE!

    1. Yeah there aren't many music teachers at any given school. That's why I'm gonna stay in my district until I retire since I have seniority! Last year I got certified to teach in the K-4 regular ed classroom so they REALLY can't get rid of me now! If they cut the entire music program they would send me to regular ed.

      In PA, PE is mandated! Which I think is great. They get PE for 40 minutes twice every 8 days. I think kids need more recess than they get. We have been telling our admin this and I feel like this year they are finally getting a pretty good recess. Their lunch recess is like 25 min and then most grades get a second recess that is 15 min. Still prob less than when we were in school but better in some places. Overall, I think MORE recess is better. I mean, it's been proven everywhere it works.

      Also, unpopular opinion: We should go to school year round. The school day should be a bit shorter and the kids should go all year, but with maybe 1 month off in the summer and then 1 week breaks here and there throughout the year. Too many kids get the "summer slide". It will never happen in the US due to parent's work schedules and the cost to keep schools open and pay teachers more.

  5. 13 years of teaching!! how amazing!! I admire teachers, for their patience and drive.

    When I was in kindergarten, I remember the teacher taking our boxes of crayons and putting them away in a shelf. Then she handed us a container full of crayon pieces and told us to color with that! I felt so betrayed!

    I think the biggest misconception about my job is a sad one... participants who come to our program expect that we will go out of way to fix their lives. And as much as I would like to do that, we are extremely limited by state regulations, and we can't undo everything that has happened to somebody in their lives. And because we can't fix their lives, often our participants want nothing to do with us. And I really don't fault them for that.

    1. Crayon PIECES!? NOOOOO!!

      That must be really frustrating to not be able to help your participants as much as you would like to.