After seeing all of these posts about the music room, some of you might be depressed because there is no music room in your school. Been there, done that. I have some ideas that might help.
- Get a great cart. The mack-daddy cart is this one: The Teacher Taxi by Wenger. Of course, that’s not always possible. So, make sure you use a cart with wheels that is easily pushable. (I’ve heard of chronic back problems resulting from years of pushing “music a la cart.”) Also see this post with photos of organized carts – click here.
- Write a note to the grade-level teachers explaining your needs. Remember: you are a teacher, too! Just because you don’t have a classroom doesn’t mean you’re a second-class citizen – though it sure feels like it, I know.
Here’s an example (editable doc for members below):
Music “a la Cart”
As the traveling music teacher, I am very excited about the opportunity and challenge of bringing music into the classroom. I respect your classroom as your classroom, and I am grateful for the two times out of the week that you share your room with me. To inform new teachers and to remind the veterans, I have listed a few things you could do to ensure that I am able to make the most of the time I have with the students. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!
- Please be on time coming back from your break. Most of my classes do not have a 5-minute cushion between them. I will do my best to be on time, also.
- If it is necessary for you to stay in your room while I teach, I would simply ask that there be as few distractions as possible.
- Please help the students to prepare for music before I come. For instance, clear desks of books, worksheets and snacks.
- Please keep in mind as you set up your room and desk arrangements that I will need the following things:
- Chalkboard space (maybe a student could clean part of the board before I arrive)
- Room to move the cart to the front of the room
- An electrical outlet
- A copy of your seating chart as soon as possible. Please give me a new copy whenever you change students’ seats. (Names on the desks are often too small to read from a distance, and I will need the seating charts for a substitute teacher. Note: please draw the seating chart from my perspective.)
Thank you for your cooperation as I share your room for Music class.
Some teachers will do a great job of including your needs when considering their classroom configuration. Others won’t. See if you can get the support of your principal to reinforce your necessities.
Make sure your principal knows that the music curriculum suffers when there is no music room.
- The students don’t get the benefit of a new environment.
- They are sitting in chairs with desks, which restricts movement.
- The students have limited – or no – use of large Orff instruments, which are almost impossible to transport regularly.
- Teaching Music with Ease
- The Pains and Pleasures of the Floating Teacher
- Why Teaching Music from a Cart Will Kill Me
Extras for Plus Members
- Editable Teacher letter (DOC)
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