- If you tell kids this is possible, they’ll believe you.
- If you assume good intentions, allow some grace, and are kind, you can get many failing students back in the game.
- If you greet and say goodbye to your kids every class, they’ll do the same. And mean it.
- Tech is nice, but really all you need is a screen, a decent mic, and a lamp or two. Plus a lot of enthusiasm.
- Even if your kids can download the book, paper is WAY better for your kids.
- I think virtual years are like reverse dog years; it takes 7 of them to get done what we normally would in just 1.
- You really can SEE a lot of things to fix, especially when you can’t hear what needs to be fixed.
- Having kids muted can be an advantage. They can’t practice something in class when you work with someone else; now they can.
- It’s okay to plan less and do more.
- You can still make a lot of music with less notes.
- When I look at where we usually are, it could be depressing. When I look at where we ARE, it’s encouraging.
- Tell kids they’re doing well when they are. They’re not hearing this enough ANYWHERE.
- I’m not looking for the light at the end of the tunnel anymore, I’m just getting used to working better in the dark.
This post was originally shared by Steve Graves in the Middle School Band Directors Group on Facebook. It was such a practical and encouraging post we asked Mr. Graves if we could publish it and he graciously agreed.
Having spent 34 years teaching middle school band, Steve Graves is currently in his 19th year as the band director at Lexington Junior High School in Cypress, CA. Active as an adjudicator and clinician, Steve has been arranging and designing for 40 years, and has been an active adjudicator for concert band, marching bands and percussion, and indoor percussion since 1987. An adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association since 1989, he has been awarded the Outstanding Adjudicator and Veteran Teacher awards by that association and is also a frequent clinician at both their annual conference and judges training seminars. He has also served as an adjudicator for the Southern California Judging Association, the Colorado Bandmasters Association and the American Drum Line Association. A multi-time recipient of the “Teacher of the Year” and PTSA “Honorary Service” awards, Steve was named an Orange County “Arts Educator of the Year” in 2018. In December of 2019, Steve presented on classroom management at the renowned Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Two of his books, “Drums, Keyboards, and More!” and “Great Beginnings; warm ups for second year band” have been recently published and his beginning method books and several arrangements are currently in use in band programs across the country.
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