Posted by: thebylog | April 9, 2004

The best teachers I’ve had, had an agenda.

Their agenda was to teach in such a way that we would learn the material, regardless of whether their methods were popular with the students. They came across as tough and unfeeling at first, but boy did I learn from them!

I’m all for being a student-friendly teacher, but the greatest goal of a teacher is not to be a friend to the student but to teach them. I don’t think the two ideas are mutually exclusive, however.

It is this quality that I do not yet posess as a teacher. I care too much about what my students think. I let my perception of a student’s attitude about my teaching style or content dictate to some extant how I go about teaching. I lose the big picture, because I suddenly must make sure my students are perfectly happy with the class.

But in essence that is allowing the students control over the class, which would likely be disastrous in terms of the amount they learn. I’m the teacher because hopefully there’s something valuable that I can convey to my students.

But then, there’s also a perspective that says, hey, make sure you learn from everyone around you, including your students. It’s imperative–essential–to let the student have a voice and to genuinely listen to their input, because it’s likely that they see something that you don’t, even if they aren’t the teacher.

These are some thoughts of mine as I ponder my music teaching experience this year.

I know there are several fine teachers that are reading this. I’m sure you have input about this.


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