Saturday, February 23, 2013

First Coast Honors Chorus 2013

As my principal so elegantly stated in her blog post today, I am overwhelmed much of the time as well.  I am a woman, wife, mother, teacher, professor, swim instructor and everyone of those family members she mentioned in her post on the female side of the house....

However, today I was blessed to witness the culmination of weeks of preparation - rehearsals after school, rehearsals at home, more rehearsals today at UNF - all of that hard work came together in a fabulous concert for eight of my students that participated in the First Coast Honors Choir presented by the Jacksonville Children's Chorus.

It has been 3 years since I recommended any of my students for this choral enrichment opportunity.  For the past two years, I have been working three jobs year-round and did not have the time nor the energy to stay after school and properly prepare the students.  My experience has shown that they cannot learn the music at home with a rehearsal CD alone; teacher involvement is critical.  So, this year, I threw all caution to the wind and recommended the maximum number of students I am allowed to recommend.

I am so proud of my students from Chets Creek who worked diligently over the past several months and sang their little hearts out on the stage tonight.  The music had to be memorized and they performed four songs, two of which were in a foreign language.  A culminating work such as a choral concert is such a point of pride for me as their teacher. From the looks on the faces of their family members tonight, it was a point of pride for them as well.  Thanks, parents, for affording your children this opportunity! You're the best!

First Coast Honors Chorus 2013 on PhotoPeach

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hand of Blessing

Last week, one of my students left a gift for me in the front office.  Although it was Valentine's Day, I was not really expecting gifts from my students.  I have 47 classes attached to me and it is a rare thing for students to consider me when they are pondering a random act of kindness.

When I went down to check my box in the mail room during my lunch break, I found this lovely tube of hand cream that had been decorated by one of my students in a most creative way.  There was a tracing of her hand on each side and what she wrote was beautifully expressed by a 10-year old.

It said, "Mrs. Tamburrino, you deserve a hand!"
(which I gratefully received!)

The other side said, "High Five for being the world's best teacher!!!
Disclaimer ("Mostly in music")

Now, I'm all about integrating the Arts into the core curriculum and it happens regularly in my classroom.  My students scratch their heads when I begin teaching a mini science lesson, social studies lesson, math lesson or ELA lesson in the midst of their music lesson.  They would faint if they knew how many years I spent in school to be able to accomplish this feat!

Last week, a parent shared with me that her kindergartener exclaimed "Mom -- did you know that Mrs. Tamburrino can read?" at the dinner table and was very surprised by that fact.  I incorporated a book into my lesson that day and it evidently shocked her.  In a third grade musical rehearsal, I threw another curve ball while explaining the history behind the Revolutionary War, where Cumberland Gap is located, why Old Joe Clark was telling everyone "fare-thee-well" and concluded with a discussion on the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s.  Leave it to a medley entitled, "America Goes West" to spark historical conversation in the music room!!

Teaching music is an all-encompassing task.  I love it when I can deviate from what is expected and teach the unexpected.  It grabs them every time!!

Thanks, Abigale, for your random act of kindness towards me.  I greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Until next time...