Students are quite the interesting species; they want to be free and show how they are their own and yet crave being treated as your equal. Being professional with students I have found is very easy to be professional in all the places I have currently taught. By setting guidelines and having the very obvious I am the teacher and you are the student topics (what conversations I will or will not partake in, Getting to know their names) have helped get me into many of their eyes as somebody who is there to teach them rather than be their friend who knows their teachers. This became very apparent to me when I simply stopped talking in the middle of my directions and the class fell silent to give me their attention. Just like I try not to waste their time and keep things clear; the students themselves are also showing professionalism by being active in the rehearsal process.
With Parents it is a like easier in my opinion to interact with in a professional way. From answering questions, or even communicating updates, grades, or information with what is happening within the program. Treating them fairly and like people will get you farther than ignoring or belittling those who can have control over those in your class. The similar ideas goes for one’s peers and other teachers. We need to treat each other more like our peers and possible supporters rather than enemies. I talk with other teachers at my placement often and keep in mind that I am a new kid on the block. Be not acting above those who have been teaching longer than me and asking for help rather than pushing people away, I believe that I can achieve a good professional rapport.
This week I was able to conduct the top band at Dobson for a sight-reading exercise for Regionals on the Henry Fillmore March Rolling Thunder (video found here) and it was an eye opening adventure as to what students do or do not understand about marches. First not everyone assumes it will be in Cut-Time, if you didn’t watch the video for some reason the trombone section was playing the first 25 measures in 4/4 common time. It was something I would have never expected from this schools top group and it took their director by surprise too. It did teach me that you should never assume anything, even if you just told the students some key information. A positive from this quick 14 minutes is I gained so much respect from that class following my ‘lesson’ with them. All I had to show was
My overall goal for the week has been know what to say when you stop conducting. There was a few times this week where this worked out great for me and I really advanced along this track. However today I made a major gaff, I said the following phrase; ‘And, yea…you know what I mean.’ I am ashamed that I said that; I know that I am a new teacher and that these things are bound to happen but I try to not sound like the student population in-which I teach. I was highly embarrassed, but my mentor said following that lesson’ you (I) push yourself really hard and find things that even myself and Jon are still working on after 10 years. I am glad you found these issues, many people your age do not recognize that’. It made me proud to know I am looking ahead of what the face value of this experience is and am gaining extra knowledge before my safety net disappears.
At the end of the day, I feel very proud of how far I have come and know that I will be in a great place following graduation to pursue my dreams.