Re: Interested in elementary music - steps/words of advice?
Posted by Zoltán on 2/4/2020, 5:30 pm, in reply to "Interested in elementary music - steps/words of advice?"
My wife teaches elementary music. Some suggestions from watching her career: |
I would suggest you get/start a certification. Check in your target districts and see if they have a preference. Last I heard, Plano was mostly Orff, Frisco mostly Kodaly. You can do summer sessions in either of those disciplines. At the very least, go to sessions at TMEA about them.
As you apply for jobs and/or interview, see what kind of expectations there are about putting on programs vs teaching a curriculum. Some schools want a full-on program with lines, music, etc from each grade level every year. Some schools only do one or two, or maybe there's a tradition that every year Kindergarten does some cute holiday thing that comes back around. Some districts have a very detailed curriculum that they want you to follow. Some places just want you to babysit the kids for 45 minutes so the "real" teachers can have their planning period. Go in with your eyes open.
When planning for elementary, in a 45-minute class period you might have 10-15 different things you do. Sing a song, play a game, sing another song, do a rhythm exercise. It takes much more planning than you probably do now. The good news is, once you get through the first year, you can re-use a lot of stuff every year.
Think about what you want to do about classroom management. Expect lots of "he hit me" and "she stole my spot." You'll be asked about it in interviews. Dealing with little kids is a whole other world. I can wrangle a marching band of 300 high schoolers, but put me in a room with 22 kindergartners and somebody's gonna leave crying. Might be me.
You said band "guy," so I'll assume your gender here. It may be an uphill battle getting hired. Think about the elementary music teachers you know - the ones with too much energy, funny socks, and a song for everything. That's your competition.