What I Have Taught:
K-6 general music and choir, in both public school and church settings.
Where I am From and Where I Have Taught:
I’m from the BIG state of Texas (DFW area.) However, I’ve taught in several places throughout my career including: Albuquerque, NM; Gwinnett Co, GA; and Texas districts – Ennis, Nacogdoches, and currently, Arlington.
Favorite Teaching Memory:
One of my favorite teaching memories is from a couple of years ago when two shy 6th grade girls stepped into my Music classroom for the first time. They bonded from day one because they shared the “new-kid-at-school” commonality, and both decided quickly they wouldn’t enjoy Music class. They refused to sing, wouldn’t dare dance or move their bodies, and for sure didn’t want to have anything to do with playing on instruments (it was a combination of shyness with 6th grade attitude, if you will.) Oftentimes class would end with “conferences” between them and me that would result in shedding some tears, though few words were ever spoken by them. To these girls, I was known as the mean teacher of the Specials group.
Over the next few months the girls’ feelings remained consistent until we returned from our Christmas break. One day as I was sitting at my desk during planning time, I heard a knock and looked up to find the girls standing in the doorway. I invited them in and asked, “What’s up, girls?” As they stood, hands behind backs with sheepish grins and no words, they each held out a Christmas card with candy attached. I was shocked, but no explanation was necessary, I could see we were turning a corner in our relationships.
As the Spring semester progressed, I continued to receive cards with candy for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and even the last day of school. The presentation was always the same – hands behind backs, sheepish grins, and no words spoken. The girls have since moved on, and I’ve changed schools, but we still stay in touch from time to time via email. Following that 6th grade year, both girls confessed they thought I was the meanest.teacher.ever, but then I became their favorite toward the end of school.
As teachers, we always talk about how we’re in the profession to make a difference, but many times we’re not fortunate enough to see the results of planting our seeds. For me, I’m one of the lucky ones. I was able to witness my plants grow in silence through the cards and candy 🙂
Quick, Fun Facts About Me:
- I’ve lived in Georgia, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.
- My eyes change colors based on what I’m wearing. Sometime they’re green and sometimes they’re blue. Once a student asked if I was mad because my eyes were gray (that’s a new one to me! hahaha!)
- I took a teaching hiatus for 12 years to be a full-time mom/wife.
- My “last meal” would be chips and hot sauce (Texas way of saying salsa.)
- When I turned 40-ish, I couldn’t drink my fave Dr. Pepper past noon if I wanted to sleep at night 🙁
- Sun, sand, and salt-water is my fave relaxing vacation spot.
- My fave music is Contemporary Christian.
Why I Love TpT:
As a buyer, I love TpT because often times as I’m doing lesson plans over the weekend, I get an urge to try something new. With just a few clicks I can search, purchase, and download amazing products with little to no preparation before Monday.
As a seller, TpT allows me to share products I’ve created for my own students with other Music educators around the world. Knowing that my ideas might be helping someone else in the classroom is deeply gratifying. In addition, the extra money earned allows me to purchase supplies and materials for my own classroom.
Music Teacher Quick Tip:
Learning students’ names has always been challenging for me, especially this year when I opened a new school. One quick tip I have to make the transition easier is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. After creating a seating chart, I call individual names and make eye contact with each student while they are in their assigned seats every time they come to class. Next, I incorporate some type of “Hello” song or circle singing game that focuses on names – usually with the child singing his/her own name, but sometimes with the other students singing a friend’s name.
It takes a little time away from instruction at the beginning of class, but after a doing the same routine for a few weeks, I find it easier to greet each student by name, whether in the cafeteria or hallway. In the grand scheme of things, the repetition is vital in creating and building lasting relationships with your students, as well as their parents.
This is one of my absolute favorite songs to do with 3rd-5th grade students when teaching or reinforcing sixteenth notes. Inside you’ll find….
Icon and Notation Slides for Beat and Rhythms
Recognition of four sixteenth note patterns
Rhythm Card Activity
Missing Rhythm Worksheet
Finish the Story: Lyric Extension Activity
Thanks for reading! I’m so excited to be a part of the crew and to get a chance to get to know you better! Stay tuned over the next few weeks for a lesson idea from me and more Meet the Crew!
If you want to know more about me, visit my website!
The Bates Clef