Sunday, June 30, 2013

next year - new school! (and hopefully more regular blogging…)

Well, I seem to have gone completely AWOL for the last couple of months… a consequence, I guess, of teaching at (and dashing between) two different school while simultaneously trying to find a school interested in building a dance program. Also, I guess, there's that thing of  not really teaching much dance this year — I have kept a little more up-to-date on the art program blog for my school's website...

So as it happens, I got the word this spring that the art program I'd been teaching for the past two years, since the dance program at EOSA vanished, was also being cut — the classroom teachers thought their kids needed more physical activity, so they decided they needed a PE specialist for their prep teacher (I tried, but failed, to sell the leadership team on the value of a dance-based program… I got comments like "yes, but those sports skills are so important, too…"). When I reminded my contact in HR that I had been trying since December to get some help from her department to get back into a dance position, she gave me a list of three schools with open positions so that I could inquire about interest in dance… To make a really long saga relatively short, one principal replied to my inquiry right away, saying she was so excited to get my message because she had been hoping to start a dance program for two years (if only I'd known!).

So I get to transfer, to a middle school this time (now I will have taught every grade in this district). It will be a half-time position, three classes of Beginning Dance (one each for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders), presumably stuffed full of kids (40-plus in each class). It's been a while since I've taught middle school, so this should be interesting — last time (about 10 years ago), I was a very different teacher, with not nearly so much experience under my belt… and most vitally to me, without having yet had that experience of guiding kids to get beyond cute steps to cool music and to truly create meaning in dance. I am excited to see what will happen (and so relieved I won't have to teach elementary-school PE!)… No matter what, with three dance classes a day, I should be able to find much more to write about here than I did this year!

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