Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Two Weeks Down...

The last weeks have been full of new beginnings and activities. We have now completed our first two weeks of classes and the days have gotten busy! Let me fill you in on what a day can look like right now:

I try to get to school by 8:15am so I have time to get some coffee in my system before my 1st period class comes in. I have a small section of Piano 2 during this time, so it's a really nice, gentle start to the day. They're there because they want to be, and they are eager to learn and grow. Each one has voiced specifically how they would like to grow this semester, and they are well on their way to meeting their goals. Class time involves a short warm-up time (because fingers take a while to wake up!), group improvisation, sight-reading, time to check individual process on the pieces they're learning, and discovering other topics, such as chords, scale and arpeggio fingerings, and many other things. I'm always a little sad when the bell rings to end this class.

Now I don't have a class again until 6th period, but I have plenty to do in the mean time. I spend the next hour or so planning for the next few days of class and working ahead on my substitute plans. My desk is located in my classroom, so as other classes file in and out, I enjoy some smiles and small talk with students. The senior trip to Italy is FAST approaching, and I have a lot of tasks and communication to do. We have a great advisor guiding us, and I have a great team of sponsors are working hard to make sure this trip is fantastic! I might also have a meeting with a colleague to talk about repertoire for our students, or to plan for an upcoming event. Normally I end up having lots of conversations and getting lots of smaller tasks done during this time. I also have a bunch of private piano lessons I'll be teaching during this time. By next week all of those will have started. I love when my students come in excited about their music! 

Then before I know it, the bell is ringing for lunch time, and it's time to sit down with any number of people. For the next couple weeks, I'll have a lunch meeting once a week with the seniors to talk about details they need to know for their trip. Other days I'll meet with students individually, meet with my sponsor team, or the senior class officers. 

5th period usually lands after lunch, which can mean that it's time for a department meeting or another lesson. Department meetings are always lively and interesting, as only a gathering of 8 artists and musicians can be. We enjoy each other's company, but can get a lot done when necessary! More than anything, these people are passionate about their students and the arts. Thoroughly encouraging and inspiring to be around! 

As soon as the bell rings, I'm on my feet getting ready for Music Appreciation, which is coming in the door at the moment. This is also a small group, and they tend to be a little sleepy when they arrive. It is after lunch during the "sleepy time" of the afternoon. Currently we are discussing early music, which might not be their favorite, but a couple of the students are taking AP European History so they have lots of historical background to draw on and share. It really enriches our class discussions. 

After my Music Appreciation students have left, I'm in a bit of a dilemma because I've usually thought of a whole slew of things to do, but I also really need to practice the piano! Every day is different, so some days I stay task-oriented, and others I practice. Everything gets done eventually! I'm so thankful to have a job that allows for time to perfect my art as well as have a vital ministry with teens. 

After school is also different every day. Some days I and another friend meet with our senior girls' small group. Other days I go to a small group in a town not too far away. Still others I'll be helping out at Sonne, the dorm where I used to work. 

So if you made it through the long description of my day, you've gotten a taste of what daily life can be like here. Trust me, it's much more exciting in person! I hope that it's clear that I love my job, the people I work with and the students I get to teach. It's truly a privilege to be here, and I'm very hopeful about all that this year holds. I have many more thoughts rolling around in my head to share, but I'll save those for another day. For now, please accept my humble thanks for all of your financial and prayer support. I couldn't do it without you! May God bless you for your selflessness. 

Please pray:
1. That my own walk with Christ will grow greatly this year!
2. For wisdom as I teach and meet with students; that my words will come from Him.
3. That I will learn to love others like He does and be His hands and feet to those around me.

Praise God:
1. For another year of ministry in Germany.
2. For a great start to the year.
3. For strength and stamina to do all that I need to do.