Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week 1

In my first year at Vandercook, I've often felt anxious and ready to get some hands on teaching experience.  I'm of the opinion that there is no substitute for getting your feet wet, so to speak.  However, I understand that the curriculum is set up so that we enter the classroom fully prepared and ready to deal with any situation effectively. With each class, I've gradually shed this attitude and embraced the thoroughness of the program. I've thought about my philosophy of teaching in the past, but after writing my core teaching values last semester, my thoughts really came together into a cohesive, coherent set of statements.
What is teaching?  The question seems simple on the surface, but as the discussions proved, definitions vary greatly.  Is it teaching when the student doesn't learn?  We got caught up on that question for a while.  In my mind it is can be considered teaching even if the student doesn't learn.  It is simply ineffective teaching.
I thoroughly enjoyed the excerpts by Plato and Aristotle.  The importance of striving for balance in life is further confirmed.  We don't want to create "feeble warriors", nor do we want to create soulless brainiacs or brutes.  We need more renaissance men, and women.  It's really sad to see how far we've strayed from the ideas of these great thinkers.  Gymnastics and music used to be core subjects in curriculum.  Now, as the obesity epidemic rages on, and the souls of children are nourished by tv and computer screens, physical education and music classes are becoming increasingly extra-curricular.  Obviously, we can't train all children to become virtuosos, but all souls can be nourished through music.

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