I have now been pursuing my Master’s for one month. There is life before now and there is life now. There is life before baby and there is life now. There is life before being a teacher and there is life now. Life now is all these things and more. And yet, it is calm in many ways and therapeutic. There is a mindfulness that occurs everyday when I wake up as I scan how I feel, gauge how my sleep was, and start the day.
I don’t know what I expected starting this degree other than the face that I would be filling in a lot of gaps in content since I currently teach choir and not language arts or reading. I do know that I expected to read more young adult books. Here are two things that have happily surprised me.
I have been able to apply what I have been learning immediately. I had never heard of inquiry based learning and as soon as I read the Levitov article from our required reading entitled, “School libraries, librarians and inquiry learning,” I tried some things out in the choir classroom the next day. After going over a very rough lesson (my first time) on using objective vocabulary to describe the tone and pitch of a singer, I had students answer a few questions on an exit card. The last question was, “What questions do you have about the voice?”
- How would you describe the tone of the singer
- How would you describe the pitch (range and register)
- What questions do you have about the voice?
Why had I never done this before?
I found the rewards and joy in this inquiry based approach. Some questions the students asked were about me personally, “Why did you cut your hair?” Others were questions I didn’t know they had, “How can you hurt your voice?” “How do you become an opera singer?” “How high can you sing?”
Secondly, I realized that young adult literature isn’t awful. I have been so elitist in my view of literature, that for the longest time, I refused to read anything other than classics with authors like Tolstoy and Proust. I have come to realize that I have been limiting myself to Western male literature. In the past 9 months, I have read a dozen young adult books. I have found that instead of vapid stories of cheesy teen love, there exists poignant, funny, honest and devastatingly heartbreaking young adult literature