The big finish, and a lot more than I bargained for.
Last week was the performance of the Classroom Cantatas groups at the Boston Children’s Museum. How it work: the students are bussed to the museum, given a chance to warm up on the Kids Stage and then sing their cantata for an audience of parents, teachers, and museum goers unrelated to the program. There is a conductor and an accompanist, both of whom are TAs from the past sessions, and an audio engineer recording the event. When I signed on to this internship I was told participation in the final performance would not be mandatory.
Well, a few weeks ago the conductor at my school, Mather Elementary, asked if I would conduct the performance because he was unable to get out of class. He has more experience with young children and with conducting, so I was a big change for them. He had also been rehearsing the students weeks prior, and all the rehearsal time I ended up with was 10 minutes at the last school session and a few minutes before the show. This included a warm-up, which they had not done much and certainly not with me. I may have stolen a few ideas from watching the Mendell groups rehearse. Sorry about that, guys…
I was also asked to ride the bus to and from the school with the students. Another TA was supposed to assist but she ended up in traffic, and I suddenly realized that for the first time the operation was ALL up to me (directions to driver, collecting permission forms, collecting kids, counting kids, walking to the bus while counting kids, getting them on the bus, counting them, classroom control on the bus while counting, getting off the bus, counting, walking to the museum while cou-MALACHI GET AWAY FROM THE GEESE!-nting kids, ushering to the stage). I had to work quickly with school administration, who were busy enough and had even less of an idea than I of what was happening, and had to pretend I knew exactly what I was doing when traveling and getting to the museum.
The experience was nothing but rewarding. I can remember the students watching me for guidance and cues, looking professional, and being fairly well-behaved. Unfortunately we had a group of 12 while our sister school had 30+ and a bit more rehearsal time than us in the weeks prior.
Knowing that, in part because of me, the students had a seamless trip to the museum and a successful run is a huge joy. This internship has been most rewarding, and I found myself looking forward to going to the school each week. I cannot recommend it highly enough to future MIE students, and Cantata Singers has asked me to join their paid staff next year!
Speaking of next year, does anybody have experience getting hired at charter schools? I say this because in my experience they can be more lenient with certification requirements. I am pursuing a possible teaching job at a charter school in Dallas, and there may be opportunities here in Boston. Unfortunately MIE does not offer quick links to teaching certifications, unless I am mistaken about that.
I will edit this post with a link to my portfolio in a few weeks. TTFN!
Edit: Link to cumulative portfolio:
Link to Internship portfolio: