one step at a time.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

sore neck!

I have been working today & have cricked my neck. Nothing much more to tell you about that other than it's sore. On Saturdays I teach in the mornings, and tutor at a junior band in the afternoon.

Teaching was quite a lot of fun. The kids are all doing good (particularly the ones who have managed to get the music they were meant to get) and I can see definite improvement.

At band though I had less fun. The first part is taken up by sectional rehearsals. This means that we split off into instruments(: 1st cornets, 2nd & 3rd cornets, horns, baritones & euphoniums, tubas, trombones, percussion) and work through the pieces for 45 minutes by ourselves before coming back into the main band to play together.

I had a couple of new kids in the section (I do 2nd & 3rd cornets) and so thought we'd go over the easiest piece first and I'd just let them get used to how it works. I didn't criticise any mistakes from them OR mention any time they were in the wrong place. I DID pick up mistakes from the kids who had been there 3 weeks and who I had said the same things to 3 weeks running. But I did NOT shout at ANYONE. I pointed out mistakes to the kids who had been there a while who all responded with giggles - we have fun at band.

Can you guess what's coming? Sure enough - one of the new kids started to snivel. It started as a snivel so I said 'don't worry - just follow along and play what you can. We've been practising this for 3 weeks so you aren't expected to be able to do everything straight away'.

We carried on rehearsing - I was ignoring the sniffles... until they turned into full blown crying with big sighs sniffs and shuddering.

I checked she was ok -I think she was just a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience so I took her out, found the conductor and asked her to sit with him to calm down a bit HOPING that he would let her know she'd get lots of help from me in the full band rehearsal. I'm sure he was overjoyed by this - but I couldn't really see what else I was meant to do, with another 8 kids in the room who were finding the crying fascinating.

We carried on with our sectional MUCH more successfully as the other kids didn't keep looking around to see whether she was still crying, then went to the full band rehearsal.

Fortunately the kid had calmed down by now, and I sat with her pointing at the music as we played, tanking out the 3rd cornet part to cover up any mistakes so she would feel ok about it.


I'm just naturally not a sympathetic person. I can cope with stuff like kids crying for a while, but after too long I just want to tell them to get a grip. Which obviously I can't do.

I like kids. I teach and volunteer at a Brownie pack, but my tolerance is only SO good and the things that tip me over the edge are:

Moaning or whining without doing anything to help yourself. Particularly if it descends into snivelling.
Playing stupid tunes on the piano at my Brownie pack when they've been told NOT TO TOUCH IT!

I'm sure there are load more. I'll store this post up and add to the list as I think of them.


All of the above leads me to the firm conclusion that kids aren't for me. I'll teach them, and do fun things on a Tuesday night for an hour or so. I'll go and see kids belonging to friends and find them cute. But I really don't want one of my own - couldn't be doing with it 24/7.


the108 said...

You sound like me on the limited patience bit although I'll bet you're a great teacher.

Travis said...

You may have limited patience, but you seem to control it well. That contributes to your ability to be a good teacher of children.

I like that you sat with the child and helped her through the music. I'm sure she'll remember that. It's much better than having your shortcomings pointed out, or having a bunch of other kids stare out you when you've lost your composure.

TopChamp said...

I think I do ok - got very angry today (not with kids - with another teacher) but I'd best not blog it. You could work out who I am quite easily I think if you came across this blog. My office work colleague found it and mentioned it to me once.

Annelisa said...

Well, actually, I don't think people with even loads of patience manage to keep it with their own kids!!

As you know, I have four, and I used to be a saint with kids (ha ha!), but after a couple of years, even an innocent little tyke can wear you thin! Thing is, though, I've seen people with a lot less patience than I use to have, become amazingly calm. I reckon it's because, when it's other people's children, you can't be as direct as you'd like to be sometimes (skirting round saying something just gets you frustrated), whereas, when it's your own children, you and they build up an understanding.

Believe me, I've been through all kinds of fun and games with my kids, but I wouldn't not have had them for anything!

I think you sound like you laid all the ground rules carefully, and had a lot of understanding up to that point - it would (and does) get me annoyed when children just cry for no apparent reason, and then carry on crying because of all the attention...

Don't be so hard on yourself. Sounds like you did all you could. It really is different when it's your own :-)

It's good to see your peace globe - I think I shall do a sticky for mine too - good idea!!

TopChamp said...

Annelisa - cheers love!

Akelamalu said...

It's a lot easier with grandkids, you seem to have more patience somehow.

Mother of Invention said...

I've taught for 27 years and I know how much patience it takes! I haven't had kids of my own and that's probably a good thing.
Nice to volunteer and spoil your friends' kids and nieces though!

Mrs moanaminute said...

If I hadn't had children, I wouldn't have received a nice comment from Topchamp last night on my blog - having kids does have it's good points! You're doing a grand job Topchamp and you're only human - kids test the patience of a saint - and nobody on this earth is a saint!