Teaching: It’s about THEM

giving handsI’m going to just free form a post here.  Sitting in my kitchen, with only 15 minutes before my next lesson.  Not sure if many people read this anyway, so what the heck?

Realization:  Teaching is NOT about me.  It is about THEM.  The students.  It sounds simple, but how many of us actually live and act from that point of view, not just spitting it out as an overdone philosophy like robots?  Let’s look at the actions and words of both types of teachers;

How you know it’s “about the teacher”

  • they hold competitions in high regard, it makes them look good
  • they advance their students quickly through method books
  • they may assign music that is too difficult
  • they put fault on the student for not practicing or progressing (maybe not directly, but there’s a sense that they are thinking this way)
  • they’re usually judging in some way.  the student didn’t practice enough, or doesn’t “care”
  • they only see problems (laziness, clumsiness, bad rhythm) without solutions (inspire, experiment, find a new way to teach)

How you know it’s “about the student”

  • they let the student go at their own pace
  • they don’t lecture about the merits of practice
  • they don’t just teach how they were taught as the accepted practice
  • they are willing to change themselves to fit the student
  • they are emotionally strong and set this example.  even in hard situations they find the way to do what’s best for the student.
  • they listen and don’t judge
  • they will find a way to communicate the material in a way the student understands, suited to their learning style.
  • they don’t react out of emotion and take offense at little “annoyances”

In the teacher student relationship, especially teaching kids, we have to remind ourselves.  It’s about THEM.  And let that guide our entire philosophy.

Done… 5 minutes until the next lesson!!

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4 Responses to “Teaching: It’s about THEM”

  1. Innesa Says:

    I enjoyed reading your post. :-)

  2. Nadia Says:

    GREAT post. Sometimes we forget how it felt to be the student. The teacher I appreciated the most was not only a talented player, but had patience as deep as the ocean. I am still amazed at how calm and kind he always was. :)

    Thanks for the reminder… I’m enjoying your site!

    • Dan Says:

      Hi, thank you! Trying to put yourself in the shoes of others can be the most challenging yet rewording skill of them all :-) I’m glad you got to have a teacher who made such an impact for you – that’s what I try to remember as a teacher – there’s a handful of teachers form my past who are still “teaching” me after all these years, because I still have their lessons in mind.