Yesterday students arrived at the school I teach at for the first time this year. (I know that this blog is supposed to be about Duran fandom. This post will get there, too. I promise.) The beginning of the school year is always a little rough and this year is no exception. There are always changes and adjustments that need to be made no matter how much summer planning was done by school staff. In my case, this year, it is all about my class rosters and how many students I have.
For those not in the know, I teach 4 sections of freshmen United States History (along with the very welcomed Women’s Studies). This means that I spend most of my day trying to get 14 and 15 year olds to engage in activities and discussions surrounding U.S. History from 1865 to 1945. It is not the easiest task in the best of circumstances. This year, though, my class lists are pretty messed up. I have a small class that I’m team teaching with a colleague. Then, I have two HUGE classes. One of those classes I am also teaming with but not the other one, which makes no sense. I also have 25 more students than my colleagues, which is beyond not cool since we assign a lot of essays so I’ll be grading until the cows come home. Even weirder, still, is the fact that I have a class that has 25 boys and 5 girls. A lot of those boys have a history of getting themselves into trouble, on top of it all.
While the scheduling seems random, I would not be surprised if I was assigned the class of what I would lovingly call “naughty boys” because I have a long history of success with kids who fit that description. Part of me appreciates the weird sort of compliment. The other part of me just worries about being exhausted for the next 37.5 weeks. Therefore, it is pretty obvious that I’m going to need some energy, some motivation, something to keep me going. As with everything else in my life, I find myself turning to music, Duran Duran music. Can Duran give me what I need to be a successful teacher this year?
In order to see if Duran’s music can get me through, I have selected some songs that should work to motivate me.
The reasons for this song seems obvious, yes? If I’m going to have a class of “wild boys,” then the song of the same name better keep me going! I specifically chose the one with “Relax” in the middle because I will need to remind myself of that a lot!
This song will be used not so much for motivation but for validation. A teacher’s life in the present day United States is typically filled with a lot of “paper cuts,” both literally and figuratively. This song acknowledges that paper cuts of some form or another exist, which I often need and appreciate.
The thing I love about this song is how optimistic it is. I think most teachers need to feel that optimistic, that hope in the beginning of the year and I am no exception. Many, including myself, need to “feel the new day” as a positive. I chose the John version of the song because…well…I like his version for obvious reasons and because I stop thinking or worrying about anything else when I’m watching it.
Hold Back the Rain
This song always reminds me of being on the road, being on tour with “no time to worry.” While the school year gives plenty for me to worry about, I need to remember that there are times, moments when I don’t have to worry. I will need to recall fun times of this past summer and hope for more in the future when things start to weigh me down. This song will allow me to go to my happy place when I need it!
Of course, the school year features breaks and the summer when the pressure truly comes off. This song will me to remind of that during the long stretches without breaks.
All You Need Is Now
While breaks are always welcomed, I have to remember to appreciate the now and live in the moment. While teaching is never an easy gig (I just read a stat that states how teachers make about 1,500 decisions in a day or more than 4 decisions in a minute!), I also want to appreciate the moments that remind me of why I got into this field to begin with and why I stay. I have already had a few this week, such as when I saw some former students who ran up to give me hugs.
So what about the rest of you? What Duran songs do you use to motivate yourself or to keep you going even when you are exhausted? Which songs keep you going at work? I would love to see everyone’s lists!