Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bored but laughing

Today I went to one of the most BORING professional development days I have EVER been to. It SHOULD have been interesting. It had the POTENTIAL to be amazing. Unfortunately it was sidetracked by the need to pump up the Institute for teachers now in my state.

I have no qualms being part of any organisation - heck I am part of the union. What I object to is the fact that this Institute takes my money each year, produces a couple of glossy magazines but does not do anything more than that for my good.

Today they tried to justify their existence. It was so frustrating. They even tried to tell the assembled throng that they were negotiating with the education Minister for better conditions!!!!! It was one of the more unique experiences of my life.

While the woman was talking incessantly to us, I read the article that she had alluded to many times. I found the article was fantastic - in fact it covered all the aspects of the course we were doing and it took me no more than 45 minutes! I really hate it when it takes others 6 hours to get through something that only took 45 minutes. What a waste of the day.

The best part of the day was watching Frogdancer knit more rows on her new jumper. She threw one of her freshly made socks at me and it looked really warm and cosy. I will have to show her mine again tomorrow.

After this very interesting day, I went back to school where we had a Year 7 parents information night. My year 8 band played (remember the 70+ kids?) 10 did not turn up! I will chase after them tomorrow - it might not sound like a big thing in a band this size but when they're all from the one section it makes the balance AWFUL!

But I haven't had so much fun with a band in ages. On Monday we practised standing up at the end, to show respect and acknowledge the audience, so I felt that we would look pretty good. The string group played before us and they had learnt to stand up as their conductor entered the stage. I made a note to self - teach band same thing. I then walked to the front of my band, we were introduced and suddenly they decided to stand?!? Where did that come from?

I quickly recovered from the change in opening and we settled down to play.

First piece - fantastic! A few errors but hey they played well.

Second piece - went really well until the last four bars. We played them together, except the trumpets who thought that I needed a few extra notes for good measure. I could've coped with that except that every kid in the rest of the band then developed swivel head syndrome and looked at the trumpets. A few of the flutes decided that it was the best time to say very loudly "what're you doing?"

The audience laughed.

I controlled the urge to laugh. I got the band to stand up, acknowledge the audience and then I let them go - in the way we practised (quiet etc). They did that until they got to the door and they all started yakking at the top of their voices WITH the string kids (25 - 30).

I am still laughing as I write this.

1 comment:

Joh said...

Your band sounds great. I really love watching the school bands at our school, especially when they surprise our energetic and wonderful music teacher! Randomly...

I'm so delighted I am not the only one repulsed by the excesses of those damned junk mail (glossy magazines) the VIT send out. How can they have that kind of money? I know, I send it to them once a year and all I see are the glossy magazines and more hoops to jump through to "prove" I am professional. It doesn't take much to get me ranting!