“Teaching is not a profession; it’s a passion. Without passion for you subject and a desire for your students to learn and be the best in the world, then we have failed as a teacher, and failure is not an option.” – John Podojil

This week was by far the most abnormal week of my student teaching experience so far. It started off by me being in an accident on my way to school on Monday, followed by my co-op being sick for 2 days, a delay, and a snow day on Friday. Needless to say because of the weird week the kids were crazy and there was not a ton of teaching that took place, but we made the best out of every moment we had and still got to make music. As I am finishing up my first placement I am definitely still learning, but a lot off the lessons I am learning and challenges I am facing are continuing to repeat. This shows me that the lessons I am learning are extremely important and the challenges I am facing are not challenges that can be overcome in just a few weeks of teaching. Instead of just repeating what I have said the past weeks I thought I would use this weeks reflections to share the biggest  tip for how to have a great student teaching experience. Of course I am only half way done with my experience, but this is oneof the things I have found that have helped me have such a successful experience so far.

Passion

I believe the biggest tip I can give to have a successful student teaching experience is to be passionate about everything you do. The students will quickly be able to see this passion and pick up and run with it. For example one of my senior high band students said to me this week “We love coming to band rehearsals because we know you love making music. As students we like to see teachers who care about what they are doing and aren’t just doing it for a job.” It bothers me when I see music undergraduates who are just in education as a fall  back, but have no want to teach what so ever. I also have e few friends who are apathetic about teaching, but are getting an education degree because they don’t know what else to do. This apathy that unfortunately many undergraduate education students have will follow you into the classroom and your students with see it immediately. If students view their teacher as being apathetic about teaching than that will transfer into the students and they will be apathetic about learning. Today’s educational system needs teachers who are truly passionate about what they teach and aren’t apathetic. If you aren’t passionate about teaching music now as an undergraduate how do you think you are going to be after teaching for 20 years. When student teaching show the students that you are on fire for music and that you love teaching. As I said they will pick up and run with this and great things will happen during your student teaching experience. Student teaching is not an easy experience. For me, my passion and love for sharing music with students is sometimes the only thing that keeps me going. My biggest advice is be a teacher of passion and you will be amazed at the results.

Student teaching has by far been the best part of my undergraduate career. While a great experience, in order for it to be successful it takes a lot of time, energy, and effort. For you undergraduates preparing to student teach in the coming years I hope you find the tip above helpful and that it will help to make your student teaching experience as successful as mine has been so far. At the end of my experience I will be posting my top tips on having a successful experience! I am looking forward to my last 4 days of my high school placement and in next weeks reflection will share more information about my new placement.

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