I have to admit: I think I gained 5 pounds in the last couple of weeks dreading the start of this school year. I had to take the 12 units I needed to get my Music Education degree, which included practicum and a special project, our department’s equivalent to thesis. I also was going back to Immaculate Conception Academy to teach 18 sections in high school. So, I spent my lst 2 weeks of summer vacation refusing to move (except to train for badminton) because I knew I’d be moving non-stop come June 10.
But my first day back in UP wasn’t so bad. My college friends were there. The campus was like a second home to me. And because of teaching, I had gotten over the jitters young students usually would get when going to their classes for the first time. So, *poof* went my anxiety over UP.
The next day, I had ICA to tackle. I taught there for two years so I knew my way around the grounds. Still, there were new things to get used to like the renovated faculty room and airconditioned third and fourth year classes. I was really nervous, but it was more like the nerves one gets as the curtain rises before a performance. As I stood in front of my new students, my mind twitched with the thought, “I’m going to make a fool of myself.” But when I opened my mouth to greet them, I felt a warmth come over me as the words came out effortlessly. To start off the school year right, I gave them a round robin activity called “Memorable Mosts”, something I cooked up so I can get to know them and their thoughts on music class.
Something I appreciated about my new girls: If you ask them to be honest, they will be. Their candour affirmed my own thoughts about teaching music:
It’s not at all hard to make them hate my subject.
Given a choice between a group performance for which they have to rehearse and a 10-point quiz, they would rather perform. And would always rather experience music than read or copy from the board.
They don’t enjoy watching documentaries and would rather I “blab away” (their words) in front of the class. This one was a real shocker.
There were other revelations that were not pleasant to hear, but I welcomed them because pleasantries don’t always encourage growth. One thing was obvious, though. Just like me, the girls wanted music class to be fun.
By the end of my seventh class, I walked back to the faculty room with a sense of peace. I was back to earnest teaching, back where I belonged, and, like fish in water, in my element.
A huge sigh of relief.
Now I can start losing all that extra weight.