Student teaching can be one of the best experiences in your career, but the time approaching can be a little daunting. Even though it is like teaching with training wheels, it’s your chance to practice everything you have learned (and everything you’ll learn along the way) before you have to do it on your own.
On the very first day of teaching Music Appreciation, I asked students to do just one thing this semester: Be respectful of everything you hear, even if you absolutely hate it.
I explained to them that there were lots of genres of music that I am not particularly fond of, like opera and electronic music. However, there are people that perform those genres, compose for those genres, and study them, and I am grateful that we have people who devote their time to advocate them.
But most importantly, there are people making a living off of their work in those fields, and I can’t imagine robbing those musicians of their livelihood. I asked my students, “Wouldn’t you hate if people didn’t support your career paths, or even your passions?”
One of my favorite parts of an extended break is the possibility of change. A change in pace, a change in routine, and changes in lifestyle!
My response when people ask how I am enjoying my break has been, “It’s amazing and sooooo refreshing!” But then I thought to myself, why can’t all year be amazing and refreshing? Why can’t changes occur during busy seasons of the year?
As music educators, we essentially produce a product for our schools and our communities. Because that product takes time and preparation throughout the school year, it is hard to represent that in words on a paper document. What an online portfolio can do is show videos, images, and reviews of your previous work, in a way that says, “See, I really can do this, and I have had prior success!”
If you are a music education major or practicing music educator, you have probably had to write a few reflections on your teaching by now. Depending on the situation, it was either required of you, or you wrote it of your own volition. As an educator, I approve of both scenarios. 🙂
Reflection is one of the best tools for growth as an educator, but it was also a large part of my choir curriculum. I wanted my students to value the reflection process so that whatever field they end up in, they will be equipped with a way to always be improving their skill sets or craft.