Following a Long Line of Educators

jenniferbackes My name is Jennifer Backes and I am from South Milwaukee, WI. My licensure is Music Education with an emphasis on Instrumental and General Education. Throughout my whole life I have been surrounded by people who value education. My grandparents were all teachers, my parents are teachers, and many of my role models were teachers.

Not only have I grown to realize the importance of a good education but also have grown to realize that dedication can take you a long way.  My dedication towards music has always been an aspect of my life.  No other activity or subject has put me on the same level of self-actualization, self-confidence, and genuine joy that music has.  This passion is something I wish to spread and inspire upon others.  Even if I only touch one life, to me it is worth it.

I have two 9-week placements.  My first placement is at Rosenow Elementary in Fond du Lac where I will be teaching a general music class to grades K5 – 5.  My second placement will then be here in Oshkosh at Merrill and Webster-Stanley Middle Schools where I will be teaching Orchestra and the after school beginning strings program for elementary students.

It is hard to believe that I will be entering into my final stage of my college career – Student Teaching.  Words can’t even begin to explain how incredibly excited I am!!  I have two different placements each for nine weeks.  For the first nine weeks I will be at an elementary school in Fond du Lac where I will be teaching General Music to grades K5 – 5.  And then for the second nine weeks (beginning around the end of March) I will be teaching a beginning string program here in Oshkosh.

Music is different from the other classes because, since it is a special, we see every single grade.  So while most other teachers only need to know about 30 names, at Rosenow I am going to need to know about 400 names!  That is a huge difference and something I think a lot of people tend to forget.  If we mix one name up with another it’s because we have 400 names floating around in our heads.  However I am really excited to meet each and every one of them and plan on doing my best with remembering as many names as possible!

I am really fortunate to have such an amazing cooperating teacher!  I went to Rosenow a couple of weeks ago to figure out where it was but to also just meet my teacher.  Her organizational habits easily coincide with my own.  We both love plans and task lists and we take the same pleasure and joy in crossing things off of our lists.  She has even mapped out everything I will be doing over the course of my nine weeks with her.  It is so nice to be able to not only plan but to also mentally prepare for what is ahead of me – which will ultimately be teaching all of the classes on my own for a few weeks near the end of my placement.

I am seriously bursting with excitement to begin!!  I already have a great idea for my bulletin board which I will be working on during the first couple of days.  And I wrote a song about myself for the first day of classes as a way of introduction to all of my kids; also creating a Prezi to go along with it where it is timed with images to match what I am singing. It is so exciting to finally be at this point in my life!  I have been more than ready for this for quite some time through all of my experiences working with kids and everyday is yet another confirmation that I am absolutely doing what I am meant to be doing!  It truly could not get any better than this!!!

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