Friday, December 20, 2013

Time Off

I seem to have lost some of my drive for subbing lately.  I haven't had any particularly bad days, but somehow, my non-working days are getting to be more and more appealing. 

One of the things I am working on during my non-subbing days is my music.  I am having fun writing out the songs that float around in my head and working to make them be decent music.  Some of the songs have to do with the children's musical I am trying to write, based on Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede.  Some of the songs are more what I would call "slice of life" songs - about growing older, about things that have happened to me over the years.  Still other songs are more of the popular genres - country, soft rock.  I have written kids' songs, including a recent Halloween Boogie, which I really like, and a song titled Ig-Pay Atin-Lay, which is mostly done, except I am still not satisfied with the lyrics.

The most recent piece I have been working on is a choral piece titled "Dona Nobis Pacem".  The basic music line is mostly done, but I am still working on harmony and, my biggest challenge, the lyrics. 

I wish I knew how people get other people to sing their music.  My voice is good, but not good enough.  Some of my music is on SoundCloud, but there is so much there, it is hard to get noticed.  I wonder if I could bribe my former chorus conductor to have her chorus sing my song in a rehearsal and record it for me.  I would love to just hear it performed. 

At any rate, I have taken quite a few days off from subbing now and I am enjoying them.  It is nice to be able to swim a bit earlier (and avoid the times when the swim team is in the pool and taking up most of the lanes).  It is nice to be able to work a bit on the music and then fix lunch, read the mail, pay bills, etc.  It is also nice to be able to use the bathroom when I need to, rather than planning to run to the bathroom, when the kids are at specials or lunch. 

Maybe I am ready to retire.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Interview Question I Won't Ever Ask

At the end of those canned questions that they ask you at an interview, they also usually ask the canned question:  Do you have any questions for us?  I have some stock questions I generally ask, but there is one question I wish I could ask, but have never had the courage to actually do so.

Most of the people who have read other posts on this blog know that, while I think differentiation for gifted students is a good idea, I think that it isn't a good strategy for gifted educators to tout it as a GIFTED strategy.  Teachers just aren't doing it.  They may have been trained to do it; they may think they are doing it; but if they are, it isn't having much visible effect.

So here is the interview question:  if you truly believe in differentiation, why are there still learning disabilities teachers, reading support teachers, math support teachers, BD teachers, ESL teachers, ELL teachers, etc.?  If we accept that these students need more support than the regular classroom teacher can offer, why do we assume that s/he can offer enough support for gifted students?  Why is it that the only outlier students with different needs that don't have special teachers are usually the gifted students?

And, no, extending the curriculum isn't easy for teachers.  It requires going beyond what they regularly teach, finding resources and materials that they don't normally use.