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John Chew


February 28, 2006 at 12:18 AM

I remember as a child groaning when my alarm clock rang at 7:00am and I had to get ready for school. Now fast forward twenty years, and I still groan when the alarm clock rings at 5:30am, and I have to get ready for school. Roles have changed though as I stand in front of the class rather than sit facing the blackboard.

I know there are many students on this board. As a full-time professional certified public school teacher, I have many of the same anxieties you all have. You have homework; I have lesson plans; you have exams; I have evaluations. Yet, one of the best thing about the job is that I am in an environment where purportedly ‘learning’ is held as the highest virtue.

I taught from 8:40am until 5:00pm with only lunch and a brief 40 minute prep period to grade papers, and clean my room. I took the subway from the Bronx back to the upper-east-side, and proceeded to Barnes and Nobles. I ordered a cup of coffee, and in a sense, did my homework (lesson planned) for tomorrow. We are doing a unit on fractions now. I use a progressive new-math approach using manipulatives to help students construct understanding of fractions. I put a good deal of thought into my lessons. It is now 7:09pm, and I think I will head over to Hunter College to practice for two hours before picking up a burger to eat before crashing. Then it begins again tomorrow. Who says the life of a teacher is easy? Cheers!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 6:45 AM
You practice for two hours after all that? Do you make time for a personal life?
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 7:47 AM
I think I know the B&N you're talking about. You're lucky as hell to be living in NYC!
From Rob Schnautz
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 3:58 PM
4 in 3 people have troubles with fractions.
From Theresa Martin
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 3:59 PM
You sound like a very dedicated teacher. How is this your "first day back"? We've been teaching for weeks.

As far as practicing after teaching/working all day? As far I can see it, practicing is a break. I look forward to it all day. It's the relaxation and pleasure. And if your personal life includes another player, why then so much the better--you can play together (and kiss between tunes?).

Seriously, though. You go! (though I would not live in NYC for a million dollars. I get claustrophobic just thinking about it).

From Sydney Menees
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 8:34 PM
Wow, that sounds tough!

Gosh, I still can't get over your name.

From John Chew
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 11:31 PM
Rob, ha!

Personal life - dating an investment banker equals considerable personal time to practice the violin.

Sometimes I yearn to live in Westchester or the suburbs, but right now, at this stage of my life, NYC is exciting and I will stay as long as I can afford to!

From John Chew
Posted on February 28, 2006 at 11:41 PM
In NYC we have a week off in February for winter break (and thank goodness for that!)
From Jessica Hung
Posted on March 1, 2006 at 12:11 AM
Thanks for your kind words. Glad you're getting into active blogging at as well!

There are three types of musicians: those who can count, and those who can't.

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