Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I recently came across this post which ran in its original form at the beginning of the school year in 2008. I have made a few changes but in general I though it has held up well. Enjoy!
Your students are looking for guidance, they want direction; don't allow them to dictate the course of action, that's your job! Do not fall into the trap of teaching the way YOU were taught. As well as you did with whatever method your teacher used, it is probably boring and outdated by now.
Leave your problems at home. Your students (and colleagues) want you to be at your vibrant, upbeat best each day. If you're not happy or feeling 100%, then fake it. Help yourself to a cup of coffee and if you still need extra energy, see any one of your colleagues or administrators, they usually have plenty to go around.
Meet and get to know the families in your school - even if they do not belong to your students. Greet your students cheerfully, they want to know you are excited to see them. Engage your students in the learning process and ask about their 'day'.. Perform for them, play along with them, share what you know with them.
Your students are not going to show you how much they've practiced this week (and by the way, they haven't practiced very much if at all). They are in music because the like music and want to know more about it. They trust that you can help them learn.
If you thought the "T" might stand for 'talent', (as in the talent you display on your instrument) guess again. Because you have a degree in music doesn't mean you can be successful teaching it. And your success will most likely not be judged by how well your students play or perform, but whether they like you or not.
Fun after all, is what students really want. If you can make the connection between 'fun' and 'teaching moments', then you will be successful. So smile, show some teeth, and inspire!