1. Teach Students to Fail
I have found that I personally live my life this way. Many times, even today as an adult, I get advice from my parents, colleagues, teachers, friends, etc. If I don’t agree with the advice, I don’t follow it and more times than not, I am proven wrong. But this is the way I learn; from my mistakes. My relationship with my mother is especially like this; she gives me advice, I don’t listen, and she ends up being right. Every Time. I always have to learn the “hard way.” This is an important thing to teach your students, if not necessarily in a lesson plan, in a passing piece of advice that might not have anything to do with anything. Students look up to teachers (hopefully) and teachers need to let students know that it’s ok to not succeed every time, it’s ok to not get 100% on a test, it’s ok to fail. You learn from your mistakes and then you can improve.
2. What Qualities Make a Passionate Teacher
I thought all of the habits were true but the two that stuck was number 1 enjoy teaching and number 4 get personal. Those are the two biggest ideas that I try to follow as a teacher. Nobody ever became a teacher to get rich and while the summer vacations, weekends, and long holidays are amazing, the number one reason I’m a teacher (and decided to go get my masters in education) is because I love teaching. Hands down. I love getting up and going to work. Every day is different and I’m never bored at work. As the article said, your students know when you are not enjoying yourself and therefore it’s harder for them to enjoy what you are teaching. It’s also extremely important to get to know your students. My relationship with my students does not stop at being their music teacher; I want to get to know my students. What is their favorite subject? What sports do they play? What’s their favorite activity to do on the weekend? Talking to your students shows an interest in them which in turn shows them that they matter to you. As a teacher, your job does not end at 3:30 pm and your relationships with your students do not end once they are out of your classroom or even out of your school. It’s important to show students that they have just as much of an impact on your life as you (hopefully) do on theirs.
3. Inhibiting Your Students’ Digital World
This article is good for two reasons; one, it gives tips on how to integrate technology into the classroom as a beginner teacher and two, it provides ways to connect with your students. Tip number 2, use the kids’ expertise, made me remember an incident that happened in my own classroom this past school year. We were the recipients of a huge monitor and computer on a rolling desk. It was annoying at first, considering the sheer size of the object, but we quickly adapted. My co-teacher and I are relatively tech savvy individuals but one day we could not figure out how to turn the monitor on. We tried everything. One of our 5th graders, a boy with many behavioral problems who could care less about music class, offered to help us. We gladly accepted his gesture and turns out he is a computer whiz. I don’t think he actually was able to fix the problem but he knew of many other tricks to try and solve it than either of us knew. We thanked him profusely for his attempt to help and he seemed very proud. For the rest of the year he wasn’t perfect (behaviorally) but something changed; he seemed to respect us more and we respected him more. He had shown us that he wasn’t some lost cause that had to be endured three times a week in music class, he was a child whose strong suit was technological abilities. From then on, whenever we had a technology based issue, we made sure to ask him for his help/advice. I think I had a bit more patience with him and I like to think that he tried a bit harder to behave. It just goes to show that it’s important to know your students and more often than not, they probably will know more about technology than you do.