My students come from all over the world - especially from countries that speak Spanish.
Although my students attend a high poverty school, this is not their defining characteristic.
Instead, my students are curious, artistic, competent and courageous. They defy their 'at-risk" circumstances by taking advantage of every possible opportunity for advancement presented to them. Our extracurricular activities are full of enthusiastic students eager to spend time in a caring environment away from the harsh realities of a rough neighborhood.
When I was in high school band, we auditioned for our spots. The best trumpet player was first chair, and the next best was second chair, and so on. If a student below me wanted to rise to the next highest chair, they had to challenge me. You better believe this inspired me to practice my instrument!
Our schedule won't allow me to be present for student challenges, but we've figured out a way to help keep our students on their toes.
Whenever one of our musicians challenges the seat above them, we will send them both into a practice room to perform 3 excerpts of their current music. They will use the audio recorder in this project to record the challenge. Sometimes I will play the challenge audio for the band and have them pick the winner (honing the higher order thinking skill of evaluation). When we don't have enough time during class, I will evaluate the challenge audio during my prep.
I estimate that challenges will happen about 2-5 times a week.
By contributing to this project, you will help me keep my students on their toes. Thank you!
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