Sometimes, when my sons are going a little crazy in the evening, I have to remind myself that all they’re really doing is saying “see me.”
Notice me, pay attention to who I am and what I’m feeling.
Teaching is no different. Students want to be seen, want to be understood for who they are.
As a teacher, it’s hard to see every student equally well – particularly with limited time together. But it’s vital to keep trying. Particularly in a choir where musical expression and self-expression are so closely tied.
Some students are easy to see. Shared experience helps, and so does an extroverted manner.
It’s the ones who you don’t notice that you should be spending time on. The ones who aren’t over-sharers, who are happy to quietly observe what’s happening. The ones with the knack of disappearing in plain sight.
As a parent I know how hard it is when your child isn’t really seen by his teacher. And I remember it from my student years. Those two feelings compel me to spend more time trying to see my students and understand their perspective.
Every student deserves to be seen, and it’s possible that seeing is the most important job a teacher has.
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