The first week of the fall semester has concluded, and two things are apparent at this point: 1) Business is looking up--way up--for this school year, and 2) I'm going to be insanely busy.
Sure, some will say, "But Kev, aren't you always insanely busy?" Yup. But with the high schools where I teach undergoing a radical schedule change--moving from a five-period day with trimesters to a seven-period day with semesters. There are advantages and disadvantages to this move (which is being used this year by two schools--the only two district high schools where I have a studio--that will be adopted district-wide next year if it's successful), but the long and short of it is that the top bands at the high schools and those at the middle schools now meet at the exact same time, for the same reason: Using the period that encompasses lunch means a longer rehearsal.
But with five schools' top bands meeting simultaneously, and five days in the school week, this means one school per day for me at that time. Needless to say, this creates logjams at that hour and requires some students to come in before or after school, though this is mitigated somewhat at the high schools by the addition of year-round jazz band class (which only used to meet during second and third trimester when the day had two fewer periods).
It's actually been much easier to schedule than I thought it would; I was expecting all kinds of chaos, to the point where I started compiling my schedule two weeks earlier than usual, only to be surprised at how effortless most of it was. Still, I've never quite seen this busy of a Friday before. How busy, you ask? This busy: I teach at the high school from 8:15 (the beginning of second period) until nearly 2:15 (halfway through seventh). When a few final slots are filled, this will happen nonstop; I don't even have a lunch break. (I did bring one today, but I was playing along with students so often that, by 1:00, I had consumed only my carrots).
But wait--there's more! When I'm done there, I go over to the middle school (after a 45-minute decompression break) to teach two more kids in last period and three more after school. That's 18 students, assuming all the slots get filled, and by far the Busiest Friday Ever. Sure, I have Marathon Wednesday every summer, but Marathon Friday is new territory for me.
Still, I came out of this week with a decent amount of energy, and I felt that I was "on" for the duration of the day, despite the large number of lessons in a row. (OK--I sank into the couch like a rock for a few hours when I got home, but that's beside the point.) And as I noted earlier in the week on Facebook, it still amazes me that I get to do what I love and get paid for it.
My prayer is that I come out of the last Friday of the semester as refreshed and excited as I am now.