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Confessions of a First-Year Maestro: A Guide for Your First Year of Teaching Hardcover – April 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Catherine Bell Robertson is a high school music teacher. She lives in Hartland, Wisconsin.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Gia Publications (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579992609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579992606
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,277,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent resource, especially for those educators who are new to the "real world" or are just about there. Kate Robertson does a superb job of integrating her reflective journal from her first year teaching (which has very minimal editing -- what you see is the original journal) with reflections. One feels as if the tasks that are involved with being a music teacher are made easier just by knowing that music educators everywhere face the same challenges.
This book also sets a good example to be a reflective practicioner. Keeping a journal is probably the best, and easiest, way to reflect on daily teaching activities and improve as a teacher.
Having just met Ms Robertson, I know that she is very sincere in her teaching and the publication of this book. I urge all music educators to read this book -- even mature teachers will be able to gain knowledge from it.
Included in the back is a resource guide that has some forms, etc., that can be modeled after for use in your own classroom.
My one complaint, and it doesn't deserve any less stars because it deals not with the content, is that GIA typically tends to release books without catching every typo. Mistakes do happen, but all of the books I've gotten from GIA have had some sort of glaring grammatical error. Like I said, though, this does not detract from what Kate wrote in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I do not have an educator's background, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found Catherine Robertson's book to be both informative and entertaining as well. I frankly never realized what a complex juggling act a teacher has to deal with each school day and throughout the school year; her students, all with different interests and abilities, their parents demands and expectations, the pressures of the school administrators, each pulling her in different directions.
Ms Robertson was able to bring these teaching challenges to life by use of her actual daily journal entries. And her retrospective follow up comments on each entry gave an added fresh perspective with the additional benefit of both time and her gained experience.
Her tenacity in the handling of the daily ups and downs of teaching, all while maintaining a positive attitude, is certainly impressive. She always seemed to be able to see the brighter side and humor in otherwise stressful situations. She obviously enjoys teaching music and looks forward to the challenges it bring each day.
Her book is both easy and fun to read. I would encourage any new teacher or person interested in going into teaching, to read, enjoy, and learn from Ms Robertson's experiences.
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Format: Hardcover
I think it was a great idea for the author to open up the world of her first year of teaching to the public. We all know there aren't enough useful publications for us music teachers.

I was a little disappointed after reading this book. Though Bell does touch on lots of topics like maintaining a personal life, dealing with parents and fundraisers, I expected to take more away from it. It was a quick read, mostly because of its journal style--separated by months. I wanted more advice as I'm approaching my first year of teaching. I've found many other of the books in this category had more information to take away from them. This one had potential, but never really took off.

I credit Bell for sharing her thoughts and feelings, and would like to see a sequel with more information to be taken from it.

Until then, I would recommend this as a quick read, but be prepared that there aren't any fireworks or epiphanies.
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By A Customer on April 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Robertson illustrates the ups and downs of teaching in this fun, lighthearted book about teaching. Being a student of music myself, I was able to relate to many of her experiences, laugh along with her and cry as well. A joyful read for students, teachers, and anyone who has been taught by a teacher.
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