This is Keely. She recently invited family and friends to her violin recital and treated us to more than thirty minutes of wonderful music.
At the end of the recital, Keely thanked her guests for coming and then asked her teacher to come up front. Their mutual affection was evident as they talked about anticipating Keely's moving on to another teacher and a higher level of performance. Then Keely's mother, Kim, shared a few words of appreciation, explaining the attributes that make the teacher such a special person to them. I started taking notes as soon as she started sharing about this wonderful instructor:
- She has dual vision, able to simultaneously see a student's current state and their potential.
- She is quick to affirm what a child is already doing, even if the child can't articulate it, helping to identify the skill and move it to a place of cognitive awareness.
- She tailors instruction to meet each child at their level, building in small increments so each step can be mastered.
- She teaches skills and concepts in context instead of using seemingly meaningless exercises.
- Once students have learned a skill, it isn't discarded, but instead new skills and concepts are layered on, increasing the student's sophistication.
- She focuses not only on technical skills, but on a positive attitude, individual goal setting, perseverance to achieve those goals, and the intrinsic sense of worth that comes from growth and success.
- She makes you feel like it is truly an honor to be your teacher.
I'm telling you, I almost signed up for violin lessons right then and there. But doesn't it sound a little like a Daily 5/CAFE classroom?
As your school year comes to an end, I'm sure there are many parents and students who feel the same way about you. Just in case they didn't express it verbally, I will. I want to say thank you for the way you have poured yourselves into your students this year. The work we do is hard, but it is of infinite value.
Blessings as you recharge during the summer.