As teachers, we all know that the end of the school year is one of the craziest times of year. Band is no exception to this rule, in fact, it highlights the things that make this time of year simultaneously the worst and the best. Being a younger teacher, I often take to Snapchat to share these moments with others, either to share some laughs or find friends to help me with the stress. Here are some Snapchats that my friends and I have shared this month that I'm sure hits home with other band directors.
1. The "questionable equipment transportation" snap
The end of the year often brings many performances outside of the school day, or outside of the school itself! Graduation, Memorial Day, recruiting concerts, you name it. And with all of the events happening at the end of the school year, sometimes it's a bit of a crunch to get all the people, instruments, and equipment where they need to be.
2. The "I've spent too much time thinking about band stuff and now I can't stop seeing it everywhere" snap
You know how this goes. You spend all the daylight hours at school and in your blissful time away from school, your mind keeps automatically trying to incorporate music into everything. Everywhere you turn, there's something else to remind you. Music has attached itself to your mind, like Voldemort hitchhiking on Quirrell's head. But really, is that always a bad thing?
3. The "unbelievably bad grade or assignment" snap
This goes for all teachers. Every once in a while you are grading an assignment or entering in grades, and you just can't believe how bad it gets. Every grading system works differently, but a 4.71% with only 3 weeks left...what can you even say at that point?
4. The "students got a little too creative with the equipment" snap
Now, I've only been teaching 2 years, but I have found this happens a lot more than I thought it would. A lot. Yes, students' creativity and imagination should be stimulated, but not at the expense of our equipment budgets! This is a situation that's made slightly better when students purchase their own instruments and equipment instead of using the school's, but is still not ideal.
5. The "students got even MORE creative with the equipment" snap
I'm not going to lie, when students find new purposes for equipment, it usually doesn't involve music at all. And this one in particular made me very appreciative of all my disinfectant products.
6. The "sudden uptake in instrument repairs" snap
It only stands to reason that as the weather gets warmer, the kids get more restless. And as the kids get more stir-crazy, the instruments end up in the "hospital" more. It's like when the emergency room sees more people around a full moon.
7. The "but...I didn't think it would fit..." snap
Students always try to put things in places that they should not. This is brought on especially hard by the creativity factor and the crazy almost summer factor.
8. The "but...I didn't think it would fit..." snap, Part 2
This one gets two snaps because it happens all the time.
9. The "I can't believe this is my life" snap
Not much to say after this one. Some days it's just a win that we didn't have to call the Poison Control Center.
10. The "small victories" snap
For every issue that might call your life decisions into question, there are plenty more positive things that come out of the job!
11. The "meeting new kids" snap
A fun part of the end of the school year can be going down to the 4th graders and recruiting for band in the fall. It's exciting to think about starting with these new band members, but every class of band kids has its own quirks. Of course, there's always at least one unique name. But hey, you'll never forget that student's name!
12. The "new band families unearthing old instruments" snap
Most families have instruments laying around somewhere that belonged to a mom, grandparent, cousin, or uncle's stepson's grandmother's niece. And whenever someone starts band, the families suddenly remember these long-forgotten instruments. It's always an adventure seeing what shape they're in and if they're even worth repairing. My personal favorite is the saxophone that had a dime glued on as the left thumb rest.
13. The "already stressing about next year" snap
I am someone who thinks ahead all the time (probably too much). So it always seems like as soon as I figure out one problem, I think of three more that I'll need to deal with! However, with the end of the year drawing nearer, it doesn't take long to gain some perspective and just concentrate on enjoying the present.
14. The "dreaming of summer" snap
It's very easy to imagine yourself sleeping in until 10 am, taking relaxing walks, and having some quality time on the couch or at the pool for three months straight. But realistically, our bodies will still wake s up at 6:00 am and our summers are busy with lessons, preparing for marching band, parades, community band, and more! It's always good to make sure you get at least a couple of days where you can basically be a cat.
15. The "I'm not ready for this to end yet" snap
There are always changes going from one year to the next. Whether your students are moving on to another band director, graduating, or you are changing positions, it's never easy. But when things can seem hard, your students will show you the best side of them and remind you why you love teaching music.
Special thank you to Christen Nicoll, Hannah Hoefer, Chelsea Hill, and Jill Powers for their amazing music teacher snapchats.
About the Author
Catherine has felt a connection with music since before she could walk, and now fulfills her passion by helping young musicians explore everything that can come out of music. She loves the experience of being on a team with other musicians, whether it be in small town Iowa or all around the world. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and is a pianist and clarinetist. Catherine teaches middle school band in Mediapolis, Iowa, and enjoys every single day of creating more music for the world and for her students.More Content by Catherine Wilcox