Original Post 12/1/16
Teachers are important because they provide the tools for student’s learning. This means that teachers should be able to give their students the best chance for success. There are several traits, or abilities that teachers should have in order to allow their students to learn, especially with regards to music. For example, a teacher should have a variety of knowledge within the specific area they are teaching. If they are teaching band they should be familiar with all the instruments, so they can offer feedback, and advice to their students if they are having trouble. The same applies for strings, and choir. A teacher who isn’t knowledgable in different areas will have a hard time reaching all of their students because they won’t be able to help with what they don’t know. I also believe teachers should be proficient in piano, so they can demonstrate to the class different passages and rhythms that they might be having trouble with.
I believe students also deserve a teacher who is passionate. If the teacher doesn’t want to be there, or isn’t interested in the content they are teaching, then the students aren’t going to be able to engage in the lesson. In my experience, I have had teachers who come to class with an attitude and I find that those are the times when I don’t take anything away from the class.
Teachers should also be able to use different strategies and techniques in the classroom to help students understand the music, or content discussed in class. Being able to approach teaching in different ways allows teachers to reach more students then if they only used one specific type or method of teaching. In class we talked about different methods of teaching, Kodaly and Orff, and this is a good example of how instructors can use different techniques in their classrooms, to help students understand the material. Teachers should be able to wind their instructions forward and backwards to meet the needs of every learner in their classroom.
Through all the experiences and classes I've been lucky to have during my time at JMU, i've been able to reflect on what kind of teacher my students deserve. I believe all the things I said two years ago are still true; my students deserve a teacher who is passionate, knowledgeable, and is able to use a number of strategies in the classroom.
Students also deserve a teacher who is willing to change and adapt to the times. Every year new technology is coming out, and with that new ideas and methods of teaching, and even new genres of music. As teachers we should adapt to the times because our students aren’t going to get a lot out of our classroom if we learn the same things year after year. This is especially true for music teachers because every year new compositions are coming out and new styles of music are constantly being created. If we aren’t adapting to new music our students are going to only be playing Bach or Handel. They won’t have the opportunity to learn and grow through different and more modern genres of music, this could mean that they miss out on a well-rounded, and diversified education.
In addition one of the most important things i've heard from various professors and mentors is to "meet students where they are." As teachers I believe it is our responsibility to adapt and prepare lessons that can be altered for every student in our classes. Each lesson should be wound forward and back based on the needs of our students.
As teachers we should have the knowledge, and ability, to provide a safe, welcoming, and engaging environment for our students.