And that brings us to Part Four: The Performance.
Last night a few of my friends were kind enough to watch the DVD of my spring sing with me. They even said nice things because they are contractually obligated to. As I was watching it I realized there was now proof of my first year of teaching and my first year of attempting something that I really had no idea how to do. I really did make a bunch of kids show up and sing songs and some of them even liked it and most of them really did learn a lot about music.
When I first arrived at the high school where we were performing, I nearly turned around and left. All I saw were lockers and little cliques of teenagers hanging out after school and posters advertising prom tickets. I started to sweat and my heart rate skyrocket. Oh god, I'm in high school, oh god, they're looking at me, oh no, oh no eeesh what have I done? And the lockers were everywhere and the sound of them slamming echoed in my ears as I walked through the campus, awkwardly carrying my music stand and my bag of recorders. A few teachers popped their heads out their doors at the sound of my heels clicking down the halls and even then I felt like an idiot, but I just kept willing myself to keep walking, as if I could escape the mania of grades 9-12.
Can you believe there are teachers out there who willing teach in such a place? Ugh! There will never be a day that I teach high school. That's a promise.
Luckily once I found the amphitheater I relaxed. Soon enough kids and families and my principal showed up. The sound guy had everything taken care of, the video guys had their stuff done, I was meeting family after family, and the PTA was selling seats in the first three rows for $10 a pop. Can you believe Mrs. PTA President didn't even give me a commission on that? I figure at $10/seat x 60 seats we must have rolled in $600 bucks. And don't get me started on the sixth grade bake sale. I know I didn't get them a food sales permit for the concert!
I suppose it's good to bring in money. I suppose the kids need it to do cool things, like hire a music teacher and art is cool too. I suppose. Hmph.
The show started and I was grateful for my principal who MCed the whole thing. Each grade came on the stage and sang their bit. It was very simple. Children came onto the stage, sang their two songs with me in front modeling their motions and looking like a goon, and then the kids left while the new grade came on the stage. Kinders, then first, second, and before I knew it fifth was leaving the stage and sixth was up and we were almost done! Then I put the whole school on the stage for the finale and after 80 short minutes, my entire year was over. Just like that, my first year of teaching ended. I said goodbye to 500 kids with one giant wave and high-fives with the 6th graders. No one fell off the risers. No one backed out of singing their solo. Not one parent yelled at me (though some would have liked to.) My principal didn't forget my name. It didn't rain and nothing caught on fire. It was awesome.
My first year teaching was everything that I hoped it would be. I don't know what my plans are for next year. But I do know that I'm ready to try again. Bring it.