Wednesday, December 31, 2014

7 New Years Resolutions from a Busy Music Teacher!

Resolution #1 - I will provide aesthetic experiences for my students 

No matter if I am teaching a song with two pitches, beginning recorder or a song with kazoos I will work to find ways to draw the attention and effort of my students to the aesthetic aspects of making music together. Our repertoire will be balanced so as to provide a varied pallet of experiences for my students as they collaborate together to create something beautiful.  

Resolution #2 - I will approach my practice of teaching with the same dedication and artistry as I approach the musical instruments I love.  

When I think of the time, dedication, reflection and refinement I have given to my preferred musical instrument I am reminded that those same habits and hard work would be of huge benefit to my teaching.  What if I spent as much time practicing teaching as I did practicing singing or piano?  I want to embrace that same level of exactness, of  precision.  I want to have an attention to detail and finesse that will leave me as satisfied with my classroom experiences as I am when I sing as a soloist.   

Resolution #3 - I will plan REALLY well. 

Nothing influences the quality of my lessons like a really well made plan.   So I resolve to plan early and plan often in detail.  Have you ever noticed how those little details that felt like extra work to add them into the plan actually save time?  For me the big time saver are CD numbers, track numbers and page numbers..... I really hate taking the time to add them into my plans but when I do it saves me valuable time when it's time to actually teach the lesson.  It's a little thing but it matters.

Resolution #4 - I will be RESPONSIVE and INSPIRED! 

Nothing can elevate teaching out of the lesson plan book and into the memories of my students like a little responsiveness and inspiration. Regardless of what I've written down on paper, I want to be sensitive to the needs of my students and adjust accordingly.  To teach responsively, I will sometimes say yes and sometimes say no to the request for "one more turn".   I will listen with my heart to determine which is the right answer at the moment.  
To act more often upon inspiration I will embrace every teachable moment and facilitate discovery and rehearsal more often than I demonstrate my own skill.  I will hone my listening skills as I "feel" the energy in the room and become more expert in steering the wave of enthusiasm called REAL "play". 

Resolution #5 - I will work hard and then go home at 5:00 p.m. every day! 

This is a resolution that seems impossible for me.... Since I'm don't have a family waiting for me to cook dinner at home, I stay at school WAY too late!  I'm better than I used to be, mostly because my co-teacher is such a good influence on me, but I still have a ways to go....I used to stay at work until 8:00-9:00ish..... now I rarely leave before 6:00.... An improvement for sure, but I think I can do better!  

Resolution #6 - I will take care of myself....mind, body and soul.  

When I work too many hours, I don't have time to cook healthy meals or go to the gym like I should.....When I don't eat well and exercise, I get sick more often and then I miss more work which leads to working more hours to catch up.... Yes... it's a vicious cycle.... Ya'll know!  

I am at my best when I take the time to pursue hobbies and activities for fun.  I enjoy singing, writing music and writing for my blog the most.  My goal is to be more intentional about all of those things. If I play when it's time to play then I'll be refreshed and ready to work when it's time to work.  

I will spend more time reading the Bible and spending time with friends.  

Resolution #7 - I will remember to express my gratitude.  

I have so very much to be grateful for.  When I'm busy, which is most of the time, it is easy to "think" about how amazing folks are without actually taking the extra time to tell them..... I want to find new and creative ways to express my gratitude to the wonderful folks that I have in my life.  So I'll start now!  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog!  

What are your teaching resolutions for 2015?  

Please share your resolutions and hopes for 2015 in the comments below!  

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. #4 and #6 are fantastic resolutions. Some of the best lessons are when you stray from what you have planned and see where the kids take you. They get so excited and start asking a bunch of questions! I love to see them so eager to learn. Also, as teachers we give so much of ourselves to our work and our students that it's very easy to "forget" to take care of yourself. I think it's important to remind ourselves that in order to serve our students the best, we need to take care of ourselves so we're at our best. Good luck with your goals this year!