Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wk 3 Reading: Rule Number 6

This week’s reading brought me back to my days when I use to play the trumpet in my Jr. High school band.  My music teacher had a face and style that you can’t forget.  With his bold head and eyeglasses, he would greet us every morning, raise his baton and we would play.  At that age, many of the students including myself gave him a very hard time.  But as I grew up I started to take band more seriously that by the time I got to high school I was able to respect the conductor, which was my Jr. High teacher, who had moved up with us.  As I was reading the book I started to think how I too am a conductor in my class and how I could be a complete dictator or facilitator.  How I could bring the best out of everyone or just simply build them to perform as I please.  I tell you, this book has to be at the top of every educators list.  I’m already thinking about next year and how things will be different.  Not that I’ve been a bad teacher, I just have a different perspective about being their leader. 
I have fallen into being a very serious “don’t talk to me” teacher at times, and through the reading I’ve found that Rule number 6 should be applied at all levels of education every day.  I have seen the difference when I’m relaxed having a good conversation with my students. We are laughing and just talking.  I see how they are more open to express their ideas and not worried if they are right or wrong, just exploring.  I don’t want to have the attitude of this is just the way things are so why even bother.  I’ve seen that in many teachers especially during standardize testing.  They quickly accept a child’s attitude and behavior because that’s just how he/she is and there is nothing that we can do to help them change.  I want to say that I’ve done a pretty good job to exclude myself from that kind of mentality.  I’ve always said, that’s who he/she is now, but wait until the end of the year when they leave my classroom.  The goal is that they will become better students all around.  
My passion is driven by the thought that things have to be better then this.  My classroom needs me to be a better facilitator, coach, trainer, scientist, historian, mathematician, reader, etc.  My passion is driven by not being confortable with what I see happening today.  I don’t want to wake up one day and wonder what I’ve done with my life all this time.  I want to be productive and do anything that will benefit my family and my career.  I don’t want to go to work just for a pay check, I want to go to work to carry out my passion to help my students and in doing so better our community.


  1. Irving, thanks for the passionate and insightful blog. I can relate to so many of your stories. I started middle school orchestra with a similar experience and over time I came to love my teacher. If he had gone with me to high school, I likely would not have giving up the violin. Personally, I have had a difficult time with levity this year, I’ve been breaking rule number six way too much. It has just been this month, now that testing is over and the school year is coming to a close that I find myself relaxed, laughing with my students and just being silly. This has been a “very serious” year…I hope I never let that happen again!!

  2. Wonderful interaction and reflection on the reading and your own experiences. I love the analogy of being a conductor as a teacher, meaning either being a facilitator or dictator. Wonderful.