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History Lesson Plans Middle School

Wallace Said:

Music Professor vs High School Band Director?

We Answered:

You are choosing the LESS stony path - both are hard. However, there are still band director jobs in many schools - even with cutbacks. Any teacher who can teach 100 kids an HOUR, and then their lesson groups (now they are larger - sometimes the entire section of that band instrument) still is cheaper for a district that putting kids into General Music classes, where contract class rules apply - do the math. I taught over 100 kids in each chorus I taught - they would have had to been split into THREE classes - more teachers needed, more $$ spent by district, etc.

Do not confuse your LIFE with your CAREER. Nobody says that having ANY day job makes you a weaker musician. And I know plenty of performance majors who live from gig to gig, are always broke, no insurance, etc, - and are not even as GOOD players as a lot of other musicians I know who have day jobs. Heck - if you are a music teacher, and required to get a Masters degree - or do it for the pay raise - then you can take your summers and get it in performance from a top school - and pay for it, or - this is a shocker - some states PAY FOR your grad school! My son and DIL just got their MM degrees in music (hers in Voice, his in Digital Music) - just about free.

Pay for teachers? Here in NYS, they start at over $40K, and with your MM and experience, by 20 years of teaching, you are making $100,000. That is today's figures - yours may vary. Teach all the outsides lessons you want, play gigs whenever. Our son teaches in PA - BM/MM, 9 years of experience -makes $80K - and they PAID for his grad school, remember - he just picked up the fees, etc. Certified, tenured - the whole thing. He will continue to take grad credits, maybe get certified as an administrator, altho he does not want to DO that - is just adds to his paycheck. He can retire at 55 if he wants - we did. No state income tax on teacher pensions - when our SS kicks in in 2 years our NET (the gross does not matter - it is what you KEEP that counts) will be *far* more than it ever was when we were both full-time teachers, and Uncle Sam was dipping deep into our salaries.

Teaching college stinks unless you are a big professor at Harvard, etc. Lousy Union protection, poorer salaries - we were ALL SET to make the jump many years ago, and then saw what a better deal public school is. Your HS probably had people with doctorates, or ABD (all but dissertation) who then stayed in public school, because it was a far better deal.

Find a state/town that has decent schools and decent pay. Live someplace where your own musical brain does not turn to Jello. And NOT all inner-city schools are awful - everything depend upon the administration, how they handle discipline (including suspension and expulsion), how supportive they are of your program, space, and TIME with your kids. Many suburbs have their OWN set of looniness, too - it is really a site-by-site situation - sometimes within the same district.

Retire at 55. Take a part-time gig as an instructor at a college - the money matter less when you draw another pension, and you can work part-time - no worries about benefits which only full-time employees get). Do then what you LOVE, with the people you love. When it is no longer fun, quit - and go to Florida, play golf, and play in the circus band camp -with some of the best KILLER players on the planet played picc in a reunion circus band for a while - CRAZY CRAZY great players, and HARD - AND FUN!!!)

You do not have to decide YET. As long as you have a plan to get something done, keep working - and take all the opportunities that you can earn. I am 60 now, and love every day. I do whatever I want, for as along as I want, whenever I want. I accept chamber music concert gigs for short money (their budgets got hit, too) because I can afford to - and can play WHAT I want with WHO I want.

Just the fact that you ASKED shows that you are a serious and focused person. That is wonderful - look at all the flaming IDIOTS who write in here - not talent, no clue, no plan. I wish you much luck - but you will not need it - you sound like you have it TOGETHER.

BTW - where are you going to college?

Lucy Said:

How do I go about planning a new school year as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher?

We Answered:

Master of Truth seems to be just that. I agree. I am sure your college prepared you and you have the knowledge. I remember getting ready for my first year. I thought I could change the world (how's that for high expectations!) But, nervously I asked my professor what is the first thing I do on the job. She thought a minute and said the first thing she usually did was open the mail from the summer. Ha. That seemed to put me back into reality and I knew I could open mail too. This is not to understate the importance of your question, just to take the edge off . Take the Core Content, plug it into your school calandar and begin lesson ideas. You are wise to consider assessment at this point. You have time to gather materials as you go. Be prepared and stay organized. By the concern you show, I know you will be fine.

Francisco Said:

Teachers' advice for a substitute?

We Answered:

You probably need to work on asserting yourself. Arrive in the classroom before the students and put up an agenda for the day. Stand tall when the students enter and greet each of them on their way in the door. If you have time, ask their names as they enter and introduce yourself. Once everyone is in the room, say, "Hello 7-2. I'm Ms. Smith and I will be your teacher today. Mr. Jones has left a very detailed agenda for today as well as a class list. You can see what's on the board and it's your responsibility to finish the work before the bell. On your way out the door I will ask you to rate your individual work today on a scale of one to five. I will also be recording my observations of your individual behaviour on a scale of one to five. Both of our evaluations will be submitted to Mr. Jones so he will know whether or not we all worked productively and respectfully today." Let them do their work and keep track of what's happening. On their way out the door, get their name and how well they think they worked. Record your own score beside theirs. Any major discrepancies will need to be reported to their teacher, as well as any self-reported scores of 1 or 2. This system works well because the students are clear on what information will be relayed back to their real teacher.

Charlie Said:

Does Any know anything about being about being a Teacher's Aide?

We Answered:

Better read your course material and then answer these questions yourself. What kind of aide would you be if you rely on others to answer your test/homework questions and then tell your students that they have to find their own answers?

Priscilla Said:

Music Professor Vs High School Director?

We Answered:

You'll need an MM in music performance and a PhD/DMus in Music History to get that dual seat gig. Your plan for a lot of performance experience will be essential to getting the applied music teaching seat too - performing experience is what applied music uses in place of publications. But the music history position is going to require some publications experience - be sure you get something in print. A lot of music history (and even theory) profs had to start as adjuncts teaching music appreciation to the general population, try to get that gig as a teaching assistant WHILE you're getting the master's degree. Pay isn't too bad compared to some careers and not as good as some others. A full timer starting out would make over $50K with a top just under $100K at most schools. The adjunct won't earn near that much. These positions are VERY competitive, just about every music major you meet in grad school thinks he's going to become a college professor.

Teaching HS is probably a little more realistic to finding a steady job and the pay isn't too bad. Music teachers with a master's degree aren't paid too badly and you get extra stipends for those extra ensembles like marching or jazz band. About the same starting pay level of $50K but it doesn't have the same upper potential. If you plan that route then get the bachelor's in music ed with a K-12 certificate and then the master's in performance or music history. (don't do the music performance bachelor's and then an MAT in Music Ed). Getting the performance or history master's leaves you both routes open as options - HS or College (or studio).

If you're honestly good enough to take a seat in a regular orchestra then that salary is comparable to the others once you add in side and freelance work. If you seat somewhere that has a large recording market then you can also earn considerable money as a studio musician. Universities like to hire the principal player from the nearby symphony to teach studio so make sure you get a master's in music performance if you're going that route. If you're really that good - the earnings climb upward and over $100K - most people aren't really that good though. Be honest with yourself before you head along that path.

Small town musician - playing gigs in town, teaching some students, etc... will earn you somewhere in the $25-30K range if you're really good (the best in town) and decent part-time money if your just "good". Most have to do other work to supplement that income and it can be a pretty stressful lifestyle.

Note: There's no progression from HS teacher to college professor. The degrees required for the two jobs are different. You don't get experience in HS and expect to later advance to teaching college with the single exception of teaching in the education department.

Job market for college professors? Look at the help wanted ads in the Chronicle for an idea of what you're facing. These will also give you an idea of exactly what the employers demand in qualifications. HS music teaching only requires a bachelor's degree and a K-12 music certificate from your state though most HS music teachers have a master's degree.

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