Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Better Teacher...

I have been a piano teacher for 11 years.

The first 3 years of my teaching were done in my parent's living room and my church's music room. The students were young beginners who paid $5 a lesson - their moms picked me up at school and delivered me and their student to the lesson... I enjoyed a little extra cash and it was fun to teach a few kids.

The next 5 years of teaching were through Northwestern College's Academy of Music. I taught in practice rooms at school or random rooms at a church up the street from school. I didn't deal with payments, policies, or any other business type things.

The last 3 years I've been working on perfecting my private studio. I've received the education, I've set up a space that is my own, I'm the boss.

While it's been very exciting being able to do my own thing, I have found that, despite all the available options, I've become a bit stale in my teaching. I realized this when, last week, I was a little disappointed that it was about time to set up my fall semester.

I like to be creative, but it's not easy for me to come up with something successful from scratch. So I spent most of yesterday and some of today researching online - I found so many piano blogs, worksheets, quizzes, ideas, printables, music, IDEAS - it was rather amazing. My poor bookmarks are an overwhelmed, unorganized mess right now!

My studio has a theme for the year "Climbing the Ladder to Success"
My students have incentives this year that go beyond the typical prize for completing practice minutes...
...Their names are displayed on a ladder for all to see when the accomplish things
...Their pocketbooks will benefit from various weekly and special tasks (musical and "diligence" pocketbooks that is) and they will be able to purchase various rewards
My mind is excited for the upcoming year
My heart is ready to teach again

There you have it - 8 hours well spent on becoming more creative!

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