1.13.2012

picking education battles

I have realized something in the past week.
Education, specifically music education, requires one to learn the wisdom of picking one's battles. If I were to stop the band/choir every time they made a mistake and try to fix it right away, not much would get done. I know on the face of it it sounds obvious. However, in the past I used to think (not consciously) that I had to stop and point out each mistake, because I needed everyone to know that I had really good listening skills and I could hear when the saxophones were out of tune (most of the time) which is really unfortunate because it reflects a selfish approach. Instead I want students to have the most efficient and worthwhile learning opportunities, which will happen when I know how best to approach the classroom, the piece, the concept, where it is not about perfecting every detail in the moment but about allowing some discovery, and being available to support learning when students are not following or learning well.

I don't know how I will approach classroom management, because I traditionally have thought I would be tyrannical about silence like some of my mentors were because it was effective, and I still think it can be a really important aspect of the classroom discipline, but I am not sure. I think a balanced approach where there is a time for socializing, specifically in a music classroom, is allowed for the group to forge an identity. However, I think it being designated may be a good way, because then the teacher can still control the time spent in class, and the students are still able to chat, it just has to be managed carefully.

I think being a music teacher has as much to do with administration and team leadership as it does with content knowledge and skill.

Did I mention I am really enjoying this? I am. I am so thankful to God for where we are.

I probably whine sometimes, but my life is far better than I deserve. grace doesn't even begin to describe it. When I think about it properly, my cup is overflowing with good things.

Hopefully I can live in gratitude.

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