Call Me Old-Fashioned, But…

As some of you may know, I’m not the kind of person to get angry, but there are some things that do. Those things mostly have to do with stupid people, for example: drunk/texting drivers.

Earlier this morning, I saw a video that a group of teenage students had taken during one of their classes. It involved a male student yelling and threatening his teacher while the other students laugh and take pictures and videos. He even picks up a desk and tries to throw it at her, but his peers (who are STILL laughing) hold him back from doing so.

WHAT THE HECK?!?! Seriously??? That’s so STUPID!!! I was so angry! I was so angry that I wrote 5 tweets about it! Teachers should NEVER have to deal with such violent disrespect!!! This should just be a moral law found in everyone. Did their mothers never teach them anything?! Sure, some kids have a bad home life and I get that, but students CHOOSE the words they say and they CHOOSE their actions. Schools should also have a better policy that supports teachers who are in this situation. Right now, only law enforcement can get involved, and then the whole issue gets blown up by the media (and then it becomes a police brutality thing…).

This is the exact problem with America. This is so wrong. My parents taught me that I should respect my elders and mentors no matter who, when, or where. Americans have lost all sense of reasonable morality and everybody just reacts impulsively to random emotions. I don’t know what made this guy so angry at his teacher (perhaps he wasn’t at all), but he seemed to be in quite a fit with all his yelling and screaming. I was literally fearing for her life. What if he had thrown that desk at her? What if he had thrown punches at her or pushed her to the ground (which have happened several times, just because a kid got his cell phone taken up!!!)? Who would protect her? Not the school. If she had thrown punches back or tried to protect herself with something, SHE would probably be the one to get in trouble, not the student. There is no punishment for students who act out in this sort of way.

This all seems so… irrational to me. It probably seems pretty crazy to me because I’m not an emotional person (except when it comes to music…). I’m very logical, rational, level-headed, and don’t let my emotions get the best of me because too much of one thing can be dangerous (as this situation shows most evidently). I think through things first. I always think about what to say before I say it. Why can’t people do the same? What caused them to think that it’s okay for them to act this way, in public, towards an elder and mentor? How can we change our society and culture to insure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen any more??? Unfortunately, I don’t have answers to these questions, and (apparently) neither does the rest of the country, because nothing is being done about it.

Anyways, my rant is done… Call me old-fashioned, but giving your utmost respect to your teachers teaches you humility, responsibility, and, most importantly, rationality, which is what this world is lacking most right now. With wanting to become an educator and all, I find it extremely disturbing that situations like this are becoming more and more frequent and common in schools across America. I hate to say it, but I’m scared to see what the future holds for young educators like me. If the schools aren’t going to protect their own teachers, then who will?

Here’s a comic that illustrates a different fight teachers must face, but essentially the same issue that I’ve been talking about here. I hope this provokes some interesting thoughts.

Student Teaching: Junior High Stories

I’ve only been at Berry Miller JH for about a week and a half now, and already I have so many stories from my students… and staff! Here’s a few:

  • Me: “You need to think of something here. To me, it sounds lyrical, but mysterious.” Student: “Like James Bond! And this measure is where he stabs the guy!” Me: “… Okay, then.”
  • Student: *makes a funny noise on their reed* “WHOA. That sounded like Chewbacca.” Me: *stifling tears*
  • Me: *to any Dawson student that has a little sibling at Berry Miller* “Hey, I met your sibling!” Student: “Oh. I’m sorry.” Me: “… ?”
  • Student: *raising their hand frantically* “MS. HITZ!!!” Me: *thinking something is really wrong* “What?!” Student: “… You’re teeth are really white.” Me: “… Thank… you?”
  • Mr. Parsons: *crawls under desk to reach electrical outlet* “Oh, it’s nice and dark down here. I might just stay down here and… cry for a little bit. Ms. Hitz? Can you teach my band for me?”
  • Student: “Ms. Saldana!” Me: “Now look here, I ain’t Ms. Saldana.” Student: “Then what should I call you?” Me: *facepalm, because I’m LITERALLY WEARING MY STUDENT TEACHER BADGE*
  • Me: *giving a sectional on Frosty the Snowman* “No! You missed that measure again! That makes me really sad…” Student: “It makes Frosty sad, too.” Me: “Why do you say that?” Student: “Because wrong notes make Frosty melt.” (#kidssaythedarnestthings)
  • Me: *to any Berry Miller student that has an older sibling at Dawson* “Hey, I know your sibling!” Student: “Oh. I’m sorry.” Me: “…?!”
  • Mr. Parsons: (backstory: his classroom at Rogers is used for a church youth group over the weekends) *finds a flier that reads, ‘Simply Jesus.’ “Simply Jesus. Simply Trumpet. Simply Concert F.”

Yeah… that’s only a week and a half’s worth, too. ;) I’m loving it here! The staff is so friendly and the students are so hard working and (obviously) funny. It’s definitely different than high school, and I have so much respect for middle school teachers. You guys have crazy hours and non-stop schedules. I salute you. (*’For Those About to Rock’ by AC/DC starts blasting in the background…*

Student Teaching: Last Week at Dawson HS!

I can’t believe the last time I wrote something was in August… That’s how busy I’ve been with student teaching… I’m sorry I haven’t been updating throughout the semester! :(

To answer some of your frequently-asked questions:

  • Yes, student teaching has been everything I could have imagined and more.
  • Yes, I like my apartment in Pearland.
  • No, I don’t really know what I’m going to do after I graduate (I’ll talk more about this later).
  • Yes, I’m learning a lot.
  • No, I’ve actually lost weight, weirdly enough.
  • Yes, I still like working with children even though they can be hard to handle sometimes.
  • No, I don’t have a boyfriend (why are you asking this question? This has nothing to do with student teaching!)
  • Yes, I do miss my baby kittens.

But seriously, it’s been a great 8 weeks (found out each placement is 8 weeks, not 7 like I originally thought…) at Dawson High School!

As the students take their PSAT today, I get to sit here at my desk (yeah, I got a desk!) for 3 hours and reflect. I really have had quite the experience with Dawson! Here’s some examples of what I’ve learned:

  • I’ve gotten to know all 250+ students (by name!)
  • learned some new woodwind techniques from my cooperating teacher, Ryan Agard
  • discussed some of the best ways to survive in case of a zombie apocalypse
  • I’ve become a master at Audacity and Finale
  • learned a lot about the do’s and don’ts of staging a marching band production
  • discovered that I really can’t function without at least 1 cup of coffee…

I could go on and on.

But the directors have been super supportive of me from day 1 and haven’t hesitated on giving me lots of things to do (which I kept asking for). I also feel quite lucky that they’ve given me a lot of actual director responsibilities and not just the normal student teacher stuff like copying music, organizing random things, etc. They’ve genuinely made me feel like a part of the team (in fact, you could probably compare us to the Parks and Rec crew… Seriously!).

But, sadly, my 8 weeks are up. I’ve actually been here 11 weeks because I started earlier than my official first day, which makes it harder to leave. I’ve already told most of the band (some still don’t know… haha…) that this is my last week as their student teacher. Their reactions are hilarious. Here are some that I’ve gotten the past week and a half (and my answers to them):

  • Student: “But Ms. Hitz, you can’t leave!” Me: “Watch me.”
  • Student: “Mr. Agard is meaner than you. We like you more!” Me: “Oh! So I should be meaner to ease the transition, huh?” Student: “No, nevermind!”
  • Student: “You don’t have to graduate!” Me: “Uh… yes I do.”
  • Student: “What’s your Instagram?” Me: “Why do you need to know?” Student: “So we can still keep in touch with you!” Me: “… Yeah, no.”
  • Student: “Can we have a party on your last day instead of band?!” Me: “No, ’cause you can’t play your A-flat scale fundamentals.”

Kids are funny, but it’s kind of refreshing to see that they’ll miss me when I’m gone (I say ‘gone’ loosely: I’ll still be working for Dawson as a marching tech after this week, but I won’t be teaching classes during the day).

I’m so grateful to Mr. Agard, all the other directors, and their fantastic students for an incredible 1st placement experience! Next week, I’ll be starting my 2nd placement at Berry Miller JH. I’ve gotten to know the band staff there pretty well, too, and I’m excited to transition to junior high! It’s been a long time since I was a beginner flute player, so I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’ll have amazing mentors there to help me out. :) Also, a good friend of mine, Jessicah, has been student teaching there while I’ve been at Dawson. I love her with all of my heart, but she’s going to be a hard act to follow because she’s such an amazing teacher… <3

I’ll also try to update more through out the latter half of the semester. There’s always fun stories to tell that happen during the day, so I’ll try to share the most memorable ones. Stay tuned!

Fall 2015: Student Teaching!

I am so excited to begin my final undergraduate semester at the University of Houston with Student Teaching! For my first 7 weeks, although I’m starting much earlier, I’ll be at Glenda Dawson High School in Pearland, TX, and then I will transition over to their feeder middle school, Berry Miller Junior High. In December, I’ll (finally) have my degree!

I can’t wait to learn and experience so much! My two schools were my top picks for a reason! All the teachers I get to work with are master teachers and extremely good at what they do, so I’m sure I’ll get to learn a lot! :) Keep checking back for updates as the semester goes on!