I’ve been observing quite a few other teachers recently, (and also taking a Suzuki pedagogy class) and have gotten so many great ideas. The more I see other people teaching, the more I start to doubt myself and feel that I have been doing things wrong. After all, these other teachers seem to be so much more organized, seem to know exactly what they want their students to do, and it seems that their students actually follow their directions and practice what they ask them to.
I definitely could be more organized. I am working on putting together some practice charts or at least truly insisting that my students bring notebooks to lessons, rather than crudely scribbling things in the margins.
I also could be more insistent on control in the lessons. I have a hard time getting some of my students to follow my directions, sometimes even a direction so simple as, “listen to me play, then repeat.” I need to make more of an effort to train them to stop when I want them to so that we don’t waste as much time in the lessons.
However, as I was reading my notes tonight (and naturally beating myself up over what I didn’t think of), I realized that I am my own teacher, and my own person. No matter what I observe other teachers doing, or other teachers’ students doing, I will be who I am in the lessons, and I’m sure I’ve been doing many things correct. I need to take what I am learning and use it to complement what I have been doing rather than trying to start all over. I need to stop second guessing myself and keep moving, and trust that I do know what I am doing at least, oh, 75 percent of the time. And perhaps the next 25 percent will come, either this year, or in the next few decades.
And I really will print out some practice charts and give that a whirl. I think that will be my goal for the next month–to be more specific with my students, whether that includes more specific practice assignments, or more specific within their piece. That seems doable! If any of my students are reading this, ask me about your chart next week, I’ll have a pile of them 🙂