WHEW! It is finally summer vacation. This has been a heck of a school year. It was great, but crazy-busy. So busy that I didn’t even write on the blog. Well, I am ready to write this summer. Let’s start the break off with a school year review!
I started off the year like I usually do – with our district musical kids! We put on Aladdin Kids this year, and it was a HUGE success. Our students come from 8 schools, work for 5 weeks on a show, and then put on a 13-show tour for more than 10,000 students, teachers, and community members. It was truly fantastic!
Student Teacher #1 – Katie the Great!
Right after district musical, my first student teacher of the year came from University of Houston. Katie was amazing!! She is a very accomplished singer, and she made my students sound like real professionals. In addition, she is one of the funniest people I have ever known. Our days were full of fun and laughter!
On her last day, Katie was hugging all the second graders as they left the music room. One of the girls looked at her and said, “See you in Heaven!” We looked at each other and AWWWWWWed pretty hard. Then a boy walked by, looked at Katie and said, “See you in Hell!” Uh….what?? We looked at each other and WTFed pretty hard. I tracked the kid down and explained that maybe that wasn’t the nicest thing to say. The things these kids hear at home…
Thank goodness I had Katie around this fall, because I started taking stupid pills to help curb my vestibular migraines. The medicine TOTALLY worked, but it made me quite stupid while my body was getting used to it. Katie and Ginger would sit around and wait for me to say something totally stupid…or maybe they were just watching to see if I would drool a bit. Thank goodness I got used to the meds and grew out of my idiocy.
Holiday Music Special
Our second annual holiday music special was a success! Each school recorded one song. It was all edited together into a program for local public access TV! The program aired throughout the holiday season. Here are my kids playing Mele Kalikimaka!
My 3rd-5th grade choir kids put on the show Crazy Carols in December. With Katie’s help, they sounded like super-stars! Ginger put on a winter art show at the same time. It was a huge success! Those kids worked their booties off…not the shoe kind.
My favorite moment was when I was sitting on the cafeteria floor conducting my kids on the stage. The students sit all around me, so I hear some interesting things. After one of the songs, a first grader tapped me and this conversation happened:
Kid: Mrs. Summa…I really hated that song.
Me: Really? I liked it!
Kid: No…”hated” means I thought it was really bad.
Me: Well, maybe you will like the next one!
Kid: I’m not sure…
Student Teacher #2 – Caitlyn the Amazing!
Have I told you how lucky I am to teach near the University of Houston? The student teachers they send me are phenomenal. I have never met anyone like Caitlyn! She can play any instrument, she can sing, and she looks like Elsa from Frozen. My kids couldn’t take it. She was just too fabulous!
My favorite Caitlyn moment came when she was showing off her bassoon to one of my classes (second grade again!). She pulled the instrument apart and said, “this is the boot joint.” One of my special friends sat up and said, “BOOB JOINT! BOOB JOINT!” No…that’s not what she said. Caitlyn handled it beautifully! Haha!
TETA Theatre Fest
Thank goodness I had Caitlyn, because I had some conference presentations in January and February. The Texas Educational Theatre Association was up first. I teamed up with my fellow district musical directors and presented all about staging your own district musical. It was fantastic! Here is our handout if you’re interested!
At TETA, we saw the most amazing presentation ever. An awesome high school theatre teacher presented on how she makes all of her UIL One Act sets from corrugated cardboard, tape, hot glue, and paint. She was phenomenal! We’re totally putting her techniques to the test this year. I will post some results this summer!
The biggest event of my school year was presenting for the TI:ME national convention at TMEA in San Antonio! Again, Caitlyn helped a ton as we tested out projects and centers that were part of my presentation. Everything turned out fantastic – the session was a huge success! Here is the handout – I will write a more detailed post later in the summer.
For the Birds
Right before Spring Break, my 1st and 2nd grade choir performed a show I put together called For the Birds. It was adorable. Caitlyn accompanied most of the songs on my electric ukulele. She even taught some of my second graders to play for Three Little Birds! Not gonna lie…I cried during this program. It was adorable and sweet!
Fine Arts Showcase
In April I organized our district’s second annual Fine Arts Showcase. The showcase featured the district’s most gifted performers from grades K-8. It was a really beautiful show. There are some really gifted kids out there, and I am glad we gave them the opportunity to perform on the big high school stage for an appreciative audience! Want to know more? Click here!
After STAAR testing was done, it was time for talent show. I had started to feel really sick all the time, so in the week leading up to the show, I really didn’t want to plan the thing out like I usually do. But I sucked it up and did it right.
On the night of the show, I was really feeling terrible. A teacher friend who was backstage helping me knew I had been feeling awful for the last few weeks and told me to excuse myself. Little did I know…
Dadgum Kidney Stone
I wasn’t able to return to the show because I was laying in the school bathroom possibly dying. After the show, a whole crew of teachers were waiting for me to emerge from the bathroom (awesome, right??). Well, I couldn’t walk or do much of anything else. They called an ambulance – what an exit! I promptly blacked out once we were on our way to the hospital.
Let me tell you – I don’t need to have any more kidney stones. That’s no fun. I missed the two school performances of the talent show. Thank GOODNESS I had gone ahead and organized the show the right way! Some teacher friends stepped in and ran the show for me while I laid on my couch taking pain pills. My school rules.
My fifth grade percussion group started meeting twice a week after Spring Break. We finished the year with some concerts for kids in our school. I also recorded the kids and made a beautiful DVD. I am going to miss those turkeys!! They’re outstanding musicians! I will share a recording later in the summer.
District Musical Auditions
We ended the year with auditions for next year’s district musical – Jungle Book Kids! Now that I am on break, my mind is full of ideas for sets, staging, costumes, and choreography. I am ready to write it all down!
Now I am DONE. DONE!! I am currently sitting on my couch and enjoying sweet, sweet summer vacation. I have some new big projects coming up that I can’t wait to share! Hopefully I will be on the blog more often in the coming year!
– Lauren :)