Monday, July 12, 2010

Significant Seven Project Response

This Post is a response to Janet Barrett's Significant Seven Project.

The purpose of this project is to give music educators the chance to map out curricular needs and interests in light of where you've been, where you are now, and where you think you'll be soon when you return to (or move into) the classroom, drawing on experience, readings, conferences, presentations, and any other source of insight you may have.

  1. Autobiographical Reflections as a Learner

Positive and negative experiences have helped shape my history of learning. Looking back at the strongest positive memories, they were centered around achievement or personal significance. It feels good to succeed in learning and explore the world, and that helped me with my frame of mind as a teacher. “I remember how I felt when…” is a phrase I’m sure most teachers have spoken in regards to their reaction to given teaching circumstances ~ both positive and negative. Your personal learning history is the context from which you have come. I use my insight to have understanding, compassion, and empathy for my students.

  1. Treasured Values as a Teacher

I believe in creating an experience for students that will help them succeed in their musical goals. I love to help students find their niche in music, whatever that niche may be. I believe in pushing students to be at their best level, whatever level that may be. I stress individuality and personal journey in music. I value being and teaching how to be a good person, modeling and guiding students on what it means to be a kind person, and how to show respect. I love exploration, trying out new ideas and exploring new topics with my students. I love helping kids find interest in music. I wish to continue with these ideas, and deepen the personal connection my students develop with music. I want to create new ideas and projects from which students can find new avenues of exploration within music.

  1. Fresh perspectives and New Ideas

I love project-based learning. I walk away excited about what it can mean for my students, and ideas are rolling in my head for applying the practices and beliefs of project-based learning. I love the idea of student-centered curriculum, with broad ideas that develop over the course of the semester through student inquiry. I really like the idea of criteria vs rubric style grading, and I am interested in exploring how to apply that to my classroom. I’m interested in connecting with other classrooms via the internet to share ideas and take our thoughts outside our classroom. I am excited about developing change regarding the relevance of classroom music, improving the connection for students’ lifelong learning in music.

  1. “Disposal Site”

I am ready to leave behind my lack of reflection prevalent in my teaching. I haven’t used reflection enough in my classroom, and didn’t fully understand the significance nor the benefit of reflection. I am ready to leave behind the idea of curriculum as purely content to be transmitted to students.

  1. Influencing your particular field of teaching

I have an imaginative and open mind regarding topic ideas for my classroom, and my energy and enthusiasm for creating a learning experience for my students can contribute to the learning environment at my school. I have patience and good humor, and listen to what people have to say. I can discuss differing opinions without getting angry or confrontational. I am younger and technologically savvy, and am willing to spend extra time to share what I know with my fellow colleagues, as well as take time to learn from them with respect. Through inquiry/questions, I can also lead them towards topics that may change their way of thinking in regards to how they teach music.

  1. Relating your work to music education as large

I am hoping that I can create ideas that will inspire other educators towards more creativity in the classroom. I want to find more ways of sharing ideas on projects, strategies and ideas with other educators, both in and outside my district. I would like to eventually house student teachers, and possibly provide observation opportunities for pre-service teachers, as well as possibly working with a partner to co-observe other in-service teachers. I’ll start with what I can do, and hopefully branch out and connect with like-minded as well as non like-minded teachers in the hopes of making a change in the underlying philosophy of music.

  1. Forging a focus for this semester

I would like to develop key big ideas from which I can gather ideas for projects. I want to establish my big picture, and how to help my students develop their big picture of music. I would like to create project samples that I can walk into class in the fall and use immediately. I would like to change my understanding of what curriculum means, and the potential for what it can be. I would like to develop criteria examples for projects. I would like to explore different methods of reflection. I would also like to explore how to bring the traditional classroom into the 21st century, and brainstorm to find ways of making the traditional ensembles etc. relevant to modern students.

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