Looking back the main question I have gotten from people around me is; ‘what makes a great teacher?’. This have given me great pause as I do not believe that there is one main skill or ability to make you a great teacher. The one concept that I have identified is that you have to be human and remember that you are dealing with children and other human beings. many teachers who students do not like, enjoy their class or find boring act above their students, look down upon them. I have found that this is not something that gets great responses from students. They need to know that you are just as engaged in their own learning and interests. This is something that I think in a traditional music classroom is not often considered or even ‘allowed’ but does this make somebody less of a teacher? No, but it may lead to having a harder time interacting with students.
Since I have begun student teaching and have now gotten closer to graduation I have been solidifying what I believe is currently the best way to be a great teacher. I want to find out what are their interests, what way can I incorporate these ideas into the typical traditional classroom. I want to have a setting that is not ‘my’ classroom but ‘our’ classroom. I want to try and create a joint ownership program rather than a trickle down experience where only those who are my ‘favorites’ get the best overall experience. I try and do this regularly, I try and have the students engage and take control of their own education.
This I believe shows the students that I am committed to their own interests it allows for me to seem and be more approachable to students especially the younger ones. Often I have found they either worship the ground you walk on or have little/no opinion of you as a teacher. This is something that has worked out very well for me so far. It shows me that we as educators do need to remind ourselves that we have humans in-front of us rather than just bodies with a number.
However, the main thing that I am wanting to learn is just how to work with continuing with day to day randomness from students. There have been some one week long issues such as missing rhythms that were not missed the previous 3, missing a key in the last measure when there were no accidentals the previous 20. Some of these things are completely random and I respect that. I do though want more practice so that I am more prepared to interact more fluidly within the classroom. This goes along with my other goal till the end of just gathering as much knowledge as I possible can while I am still able to have somebody support me and give me instant feedback.
And my final goal? Get a job…hopefully soon.
What are my goals for the next 2 weeks that can help me be the best teacher I can be?