TEN Easy Strategies to Keep Your Learning Community Happy! Kids, Principals and Parents, too!
There are ten easy strategies to help guide teachers to a successful year and ultimately a successful career.
You must first BE PREPARED the moment your students walk into your classroom. Being prepared involves several pieces of the pie. You must know and understand your content. You must know and understand age appropriate learning styles. You must know and understand learning styles. You must know where your teaching manipulatives are and have what you need immediately available. You must know the song(s) you will be teaching for the day (or for the week). Memorization is best. When singing, you need to understand the process of teaching a song A capella and by rote. When teaching folk dancing, practice the steps with the music in advance.
Next, it is important to BE CONSISTENT in the quality of how you present your lessons when teaching. When you offer quality, in depth, sequential and educationally sound lessons consistently, your students will soon learn to focus by getting ready quickly to learn because they will know great and fun learning is coming their way.
Who doesn’t love a good but honest compliment for a job well done or a good attitude? The old saying goes like this: You’ll attract more bees with honey than with vinegar. Honest praise will carry the human spirit to greater heights than condemnation. Some students live with criticism at home. It is beautiful to watch a student blossom at school with a steady supply of praise.
A close friend and colleague taught this lesson many years ago. “Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say.” This statement works well in most situations, whether it is teaching, child rearing, marriage, friendships, or professional relationships. This is a solid rule to live by.
Bright happy colors, positive posters, a few soft cuddly stuffed animals can all be combined to create a fun, warm, inviting learning environment. As students enter into a classroom, an unspoken warm invitation can be interpreted within a few seconds. Have you ever walked into a home or a restaurant and suddenly felt “at home.” You knew at a glance this is a safe place you wanted to be. Create a classroom you would love to walk into where you would sing, dance, play instruments, create music, find a steady beat and read music rhythms and notes.
Teachers who are able to be compassionate teachers, have a better chance of creating a safe, exciting and happy learning environment.
Think back for a moment to your own education; to a favorite teacher. We all have one… or two or three. What characteristic stands out in your mind for a teacher who changed your life; who touched your educational process deeply allowing you to grow to heights you never dreamed you could reach? Teachers who are flexible, fair and reasonable are teachers I respected.
It is important to feed your body and mind with the right food to nourish your energy level, your brain power and your spirit. Chocolate kept in the classroom is certainly acceptable, in my opinion. When you eat right, your body has a better opportunity to react the way you’d like it to.
Sleep is always important to a productive body and mind. If a person wakes feeling rested each morning for a week without the aid of an alarm clock, it could be an indicator of how much sleep is required for that individual.
The final strategy is to have fun and a genuine love for what you do. Have an attitude of “they actually PAY me to play games and sing songs with children! How much more blessed could a person be?” When your students love what they are learning and are engaged, your principal will be pleased, your parents will be pleased and your professional world will be happier. These ten strategies will lead to a successful year and career as you bring the lifelong joy of music to your students.
- BE PREPARED
- BE CONSISTENT
- PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE (when honestly deserved)
- SAY what you MEAN and MEAN what you SAY
- Create a FUN, WARM, INVITING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
- Be COMPASSIONATE
- Be FLEXIBLE, FAIR and REASONABLE
- EAT RIGHT
- Get enough SLEEP
- Have FUN and Genuinely LOVE what you do