Student Teaching in 03:00
Throughout my student teaching experience, I constantly reflected on my struggle with the time implications and demands of what it takes to be a teacher. I spent nearly 180 days (two semesters) commuting from Hermosa, CO to Bayfield, CO --- About a forty-five minute drive each way, offering me plenty of time to listen to my thoughts accompanied by background music - usually jazz. Strictly speaking, thoughtful reflection and contemplation became a daily practice for myself, and the wild sounds of jazz helped me combat the dissonance I found within the contrasts of my personal life and my school life - a META (Most-Effective-Tactic-Available) of sorts.
The video above is my PEX or Professional Exhibition artifact - a project that I displayed to both my Masters cohort as well as the entire Department of Education at Fort Lewis College. About halfway through the spring semester of 2018, I came up with an idea. Listening to jazz and funk music everyday as I made the tedious journey home, I thought about how there was a correlation between the genre of jazz and the inter-workings of a school.
In jazz, there is structure. Those few instruments (piano, bass, or percussion) whose sole purpose is to lay down the beat for the rest of the instruments to play off of are vital in keeping the sanity of the sound. Similarly, in schools there is also structure. Whether that be the physical layout of the school building, the thoughtful planning of the teacher's school day, or even the synchronized bell schedule, there is a systematic structure in place for the rest to follow.
But what makes jazz jazzy, is not this structural sound... Its the chaotic afterthought. It is the solos breaking free from the routine, expressing themselves in every which way, making the music truly come together in a whirlwind of harmonious insanity. This is the variable that makes the genre of jazz unique. Likewise, the school has all of its structure, but without that chaotic variable of the student body, there is no harmonious insanity to be found. Just like how jazz needs its saxophone, the school needs its students. Without them, there would only be a feeling of incompleteness and boredom.
The song used in the video is Vulfpeck's jazz and funk mix-up titled "Outro" - which, oddly enough, was the first song on their first album. This PEX was my sort of outro. It was the beginning of the end. The end of my student teaching, but the beginning of my teaching career.
I introduce to you, the outro to my intro. Enjoy.