Jennifer Backes, from South Milwaukee, is majoring in Music Education with an emphasis on Instrumental and General Education. Her inspiration to become a teacher comes from long line of educators and a desire to spread her passion of music to others Her 18-week placement is broken down by the first 9-weeks at Rosenow Elementary in Fond du Lac, and the second at Merrill and Webster-Stanley Middle Schools in Oshkosh.
I am finishing up my fourth week at my middle school placement and it is certainly a huge change from my elementary placement. Instead of walking into a classroom filled with happy children who instantly love you, these kids are a bit more guarded. They take awhile to warm-up to you and regard you as some weird stranger who couldn’t possibly have a clue as to what to do. I could tell from the first week that it was going to take a much longer time for them to accept me than it did for my elementary kids.
So it was a bit of a rough transition. Not only was I someone new but I am also the very first female student teacher that has been with this cooperating teacher. He has always had male clinical students and student teachers. So all of his classes have been used to college men rather than women coming in and assisting. While some of them were very excited to finally have a woman, others were a bit more guarded. It has taken these four weeks for many of them to accept me and some are still a bit wary. But it is certainly a lot more fun now than it was during the first couple of weeks.
Middle schoolers in general are a bunch of fidgety kids so put an instrument in their hands and it can be downright crazy! I have picked up many good techniques from my cooperating teacher on getting them to quiet down without have to shout over all the noise. My cooperating teacher is fantastic and works really well with this age group. I’m not entirely sure if I’m cut out to work with this age level but it has certainly been an interesting experience and I am excited to see where else this will take me!