Monday, February 18, 2013
Reflections from another great year at TMEA
San Antonio, TX
This is looking over the main Exhibit hall... This picture DOES NOT do it justice! This thing is HUGE!
I went to San Antonio again this year for the 2013 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic and Conference. This year I stayed by myself and pretty much was by myself the duration of the trip. I met up with some other teachers from my district on Wednesday evening as soon as I arrived in San Antonio for dinner and I also met up with several friends from college for lunches and drinks throughout my stay in San Antonio. I had a great time just catching up with some old friends and acquaintances from OU and even UCO while at TMEA. I also was able to talk to my college Band Director, whom I had not even spoken to or heard from in nearly 10 years. This was just the boost and “pep talk” I needed to make it through the year. I did not however, see my high school band director or other Band Director friends from High School and I had usually seen them in years past.
This trip started out a little crazy because I left my school at 1:30pm on Wednesday in order to make the district dinner with the other music teachers. I realized just past Katy that I had forgotten several things either back at my campus or my house. Of course, at that stage it was too late and too far to turn around and get them. These were minor things like the schedule I had created for the conference left on my desk and some toiletries I had left at my house. Both of which could be either purchased at a drug store of looked up online. However, after the 3.5 hour drive into San Antonio I arrived at my downtown River-walk Hotel, valet parked and then went into the lobby to check in. There was a long line of other band directors and music educators as well as High School All-State students checking in so I had to wait a little while. After a few minutes of waiting it was my turn and the check-in process began. I showed the attendant my State Employee (School District) form and other necessary papers and then she asked to see my ID. I began to look through my wallet and purse frantically and could not find it. I had just changed purses so I was unfamiliar with this purse and all its hiding places so I put my luggage and other items down and began to REALLY look for it. After a minute or two she said “We just need your ID number so when you find it, come back and let me see it”. At this point I was totally freaking out because my ID is still an Oklahoma driver’s license and if it is lost or stolen I would have to retake the written and driving portions of the test in order to get it switched over to a Texas Driver’s License. I immediately called Chris and asked if he knew where it was. During the conversation (And the tears that were forming) I remembered that back on December 30th Chris, his family and I went to a bowl game in downtown Houston and I had asked Chris to put my ID in his wallet so I would not have to take a purse into the Football game. Sure enough, Chris had my ID in his wallet. My fear and anxiety disappeared but the blonde feeling did not. I had driven all the way to San Antonio and to and from work for nearly 2 months WITHOUT an ID! Thank the Lord; I had not been pulled over. In fact, I had just driven the night before to Buffalo to drop my kids off with Gigi Shirley and Poppy! It is seriously amazing I had not gotten stopped! It was a true ACT OF GOD! Thank you, Lord!
While at TMEA I attended several conferences and clinics about Elementary Music and how to incorporate Orff instruments and drums into your EVERYDAY teaching. I have been working with Orff instruments for about a month but I need a boost in department and I knew TMEA would deliver. I was able to attend about 7 clinics about drums and Orff instruments and I have already began using these learned techniques in my classes since returning and my kids LOVE THEM!
This year has been incredibly difficult for me due to many reasons ranging from Campus and District changes and demands as well as personal reasons such as wanting to stay at home with my baby! But TMEA really helped lift my spirits and gave me the push and DESIRE to make it to the end of the year and honestly re-lit the passion I have for teaching. There have been many days here in the recent past where I have not enjoyed my job at all and even question if I should be teaching anymore. Not just at my current campus but at all. This really breaks my heart because I have wanted to teach since I can remember. I told a friend of mine while having drinks in San Antonio that I basically decided I was going to teach band when I was 15 years old and I have never looked back since… UNTIL NOW! The clinicians and clinics at TMEA really reminded me why I got into this field in the first place and really helped me get my “blinders” on and get back to business.
As usual, I saw some pretty interesting things while at TMEA. The exhibit hall was as BIG as ever with 2 FULL Exhibit halls and the need to have a 3rd. I was blown away last year at how BIG it had become in the 8 years since I had returned to TMEA but it seemed liked it had gotten even bigger just since last year’s conference in 2012. The best thing I saw while visiting the exhibits were Beethoven and Mozart Action Figures. I am new to the whole BOY-DEPARTMENT and I am not familiar with Action Figures but these were AWESOME! They had removable outfits and WIGS as well as a small (very small) workbook about each composer and a listening CD. This was so cool and I purchased 4 to give away at the end of the year. I know some of the students in my school would think it is lame but there are some that would really like them so I got a few. I should have purchased some for Natalie and Luke as well but I did not. There were really cool and I hope they stay around until Luke is old enough to play with them.
This is SO COOL!
I also purchased some Music Flip-flops and a new Music teacher shirt to wear to school. In addition, I bought a little "Band" for my kids! I got a cheap plastic tambourine, an echo microphone, some maracas and even some claves and rhythm sticls for them to play with when I got home. You know, it was quiet when I left but when I got back... NO SILENCE WAS TO BE FOUND IN MY HOUSE! I dont think my poor hubby appreciated this! But you know what, he played with them anyway! I love my honey! Thank you Chris for being such an AWESOME daddy!
Overall, my trip to San Antonio was a blast and I am looking forward to next year’s convention already. Thank you, Lord for allowing me to go and for keeping me safe without an ID.
God is good… All the time!