DeBlogs > Kayla Burke > new-year-catch-up
By Kayla Burke /
January 4, 2016 /
Posted in: Academics, Catholic and Vincentian, Life in Chicago, Student Life /
DePaul’s fall quarter concluded right before
Thanksgiving, however I continued student teaching for another three weeks once I
returned from spending the holiday in Maine. I think I’ve mentioned this
before, but I was required to student teach for 16 weeks – 4 full months – to
obtain a k-12 teaching license, for which I had to give up about half of my
winter break. While most of my friends were catching up on sleep, work and
their social lives, I continued to get up at 5am and drag myself to school
every day. It was definitely a struggle
to stay motivated, but I did it! In the final week I conducted my first concert
ever and was sad to say goodbye to the students I’d make connections with
during my time in both teaching placements.
Before heading home again for the remainder of my winter
break, I had the opportunity to experience two really neat things in the city.
The first was a concert held by DePaul called Christmas at DePaul - It is so
awesome! It’s a collaborative concert between the DePaul Music School, Theatre School and the St. Vincent de Paul church on campus. The university hires
current students and alumni from the music school to perform in a giant
orchestra with a chorus of over 200 members. Christmas at DePaul really gets me
in the spirit of the holidays with several Christmas carols and a reminder of
the real importance of the holiday, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to attend
the last couple years. Due to the concert’s growing popularity, tickets are
free and distributed through a lottery. I’ve been very fortunate to have a
friend in the orchestra who has been able to give me complimentary tickets, but
you can bet I’d have put my name in the lottery if I had to!
I also had the opportunity to attend the Midwest International Band Clinic before leaving the city. This clinic brings in
hundreds of world-famous clinicians and performers to hold master classes for
anyone interested in teaching band. They also have a huge exhibit hall where
you can try instruments, talk with various band-supporting companies and
purchase all kinds of books and equipment. The Midwest Clinic is one of the
highlights of my year and I’ll share more about it with you later.
My winter break has come to an end, but I’m grateful for the
time I had with my family and friends back in my hometown. I’m feeling
refreshed and renewed – and aside from feeling glad to be done student
teaching, I’m feeling ready for more knowledge and more experiences. Even
though I’m nearly done with my time at DePaul, the gift of becoming hungry for
knowledge and my desire to be the best teacher I can possibly be are things
that will stick with me forever – and for that I will always be grateful to
DePaul and my professors.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season – I’m looking
forward to sharing more of my DePaul experiences with you in 2016!