Teaching is hard

May 23, 2008

Yesterday morning, I volunteered to help out with a bus load (or two) of 3rd grade kids from Lincoln Elementary School. They came over to the station to learn about sound and radio. I was nervous, I love my craft... but could I explain it to a bunch of 8 year-olds and not have their eyes glaze over? I had some help from Edward Hermann a local independent audio producer who has been recording readings and interviews with Chicago poets for the Poetry Foundation. The kids were divided into three sections and rotated to different stations. We had the "sound" station. Ed played some great clips of nature sounds and had the kids guess what they were. I talked about Soundmarks and about how important sound is when you are telling a story. I hauled one of my kits in there and showed them the gear we use out in the field. Then Ed directed as I ran the board to record each group in some sound and word exercises, and a tag to be used in future Soundmarks: lincoln-school-MP3 After all the kids were done and I was back at my desk, I had a new found respect for my sister Laura, a fourth-grade teacher in Wauwatosa, WI. She does that all day and I was exhausted from two hours of repeating the same material three times. It was a lot of fun and hopefully Ed and I inspired some next-generation audio producers or at least opened their ears to the world around them in their everyday lives.