Drove Son R to band today (which I like doing on Saturday mornings), and he noted that each instrument group has a personality to it. Reminded me of my teaching days :)

Drove Son R to his band today.  Usually he busses, but sometimes on Saturday mornings he asks for a ride, and since traffic is light early on Saturdays and since it gives me 20 minutes to hang out with him, I don’t mind and in many ways enjoy it.  Today, in the car ride, I asked, “What is something that someone like me who has never been in marching band wouldn’t know about marching band?  Give me some inside scoop on something that is interesting that I wouldn’t know.”  

He said each instrument group tends to have a particular personality type.  He said that is true in all marching bands he has been in, so it seems to be universal.  For example, trombone players tend to be a little crazy (as in class clown crazy).  And trumpet players have strong egos.  And drummers tend to be wild and noisy.  And flute players are introverted.  And many horn players (e.g. French horn, melophone) are easygoing.  He said its funny because often the type of person you’d think being in an instrument group is often true.  It is not completely universal (i.e. exceptions) but that is a general trend he has noticed…  

That reminds me of when I was teaching, and how different class periods and classes and class groups would have distinct personalites.  I always thought that Debate classes were (surprise!) boisterous, English classes (assigned general requirements classes) were bored/apathetic, and Film Study had the students hoping for an easier credit 🙂   For high schoolers, first period tended to be a little more quiet and sixth period a little more distracted.  I had to take into account time of day, and class personalities (i.e. each class had a separate personality, often influenced by just one or two students, so if they were gone the classs was vastly different) when I planned out my lessons, which I generally did a week in advance.  I also tried to keep an ear out, so if I was planning a major project for the students and overheard that they had other major projects in other classes, I’d postpone or adjust the proejct so as not to overload them.  That was a lesson I learned (the hard way) my first year teaching, to not overburden students – I got more loyalty and better results when I took into account what their overall workload was…

Drove Son R to band today (which I like doing on Saturday mornings), and he noted that each instrument group has a personality to it. Reminded me of my teaching days :)

Daughter L worked most of the weekend and was up all night working on summer homework

Daughter L had a few books to read and a major essay (i.e. over 7 pages to write) that were assigned over the summer and due before her first class starts today at 7 AM.  It is madness that we burn our kids out before they even start the school year. Was she assigned the paper over a month ago? Yes.  But we were traveling (she traveled for 3 weeks with our family, plus 3 weeks with a school service trip) plus after taking an AP course last summer and having major assignments due over Winter and Spring breaks last year, she needed a break.  Plus, most human beings — especially teens — will procrastinate. 

I keep waiting for this age of homework — which is now over 20 years long – to end.  We have been reading for years now about how the kids have too much homework, and how that much homework does not increase learning and hampers quality of life.  But if anything it gets worse.  And this weekend it burned my daughter out before she even starts her first day of school. It is madness.

Daughter L worked most of the weekend and was up all night working on summer homework