Every teacher we had made a difference in our lives; some greater than others. I had several teachers who literally changed my life and there were others who showed me exactly what not to do. We all aspire to make a difference in this world, our classrooms, rehearsals and performances.
But making a difference can be illusive, like trying to catch the butterfly. If we consciously try to make a difference, we may fall short. When we allow ourselves to be who we truly are, we have a better chance to make that connection with students that defines making the difference. The hardest part of teaching is to find our voice. Our teaching toolbox is full of things we acquired along the way but have yet learned how to use. Although we experienced them in action, we may not have fully comprehended the entire scope of how best to adapt it and use it to our advantage, in our voice.
In those times of soul searching, I discovered a few things that I believe are important for anyone, in any profession, and especially teaching music.
- Know Your Strengths
- Realize Your Limitations
- Understand We All Feel the Same Way
- People Do Not Have Time to Think About You
- The Little Things Are the Big Things
- Reflect About the Lessons You Learned Along the Way