In the early 1950’s, archaeologists unearthed several clay tablets from the 14th century B.C.E.. in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit. These tablets contained cuneiform signs in the Hurrian language which turned out to be the oldest known piece of music ever discovered, a 3,400-year-old cult hymn. In 1988 Richard Fink writes in an article entitled ‘Archeologia Musicalis’ that the tablets found confirm a musical theory structure of a 7-note diatonic scale, as well as other harmonies, existing 3,400 years ago.
Hiya! In this go-go world we often forget to take time for ourselves before we act in the classroom. By taking a minute(or ten)to take control of our mind, breath deeply, and focus we can have an advantage towards a successful day of teaching. The act of stopping to think before you teach is a key strategy for any successful teacher. This small amount of time can offer great clarity and understanding of the day ahead. These minutes are for you, not your students. The time spent in this moments leading up to your day of teaching can be used to have a clean and calm approach.
Below are what I believe to be the three key reasons for thinking before you teach. These are meant to be empowering strategies that you can implement during any part of your teaching day.
Be kind to yourself: A really good reason to think before you teach is to take time to be kind to yourself. Remember, every student is different. They each learn differently and in different ways. Therefore, sometimes you won’t be able to accommodate everyone all the time. Part of being a teacher is having the “superman” complex. We want to believe that we can change every life we contact. Most of the time this is true but, not always. We must take time to understand that we’ve done the best that we couldn’t done.
One thing: As we take a moment before we step into the classroom, we can also take time to focus on one thing that we absolutely need to focus on for the betterment of our students. What has been one skill or concept that has been particularly difficult for our students to grasp? In this pre-class moment we can clarify the ultimate goal for the day. Once this is recognized we can enter the room with confidence and focus. Let’s tackle the mountain!
Expect the unexpected: As we know children can be a handful. This is mainly because they are spontaneous and fluid. This type of behavior is hard to control. However, as a teacher our job is not to control but rather to enlighten to new ideas and concepts. Therefore, as we take a moment before class we need to expect the unexpected from our students. Take several deep breaths, mentally preparing to become flexible to what might occur in the classroom. The worst feeling is that of chaos or lack of control. The way to get rid of this feeling is to release the need to control, releasing it through out breath. In this moment we must understand that anything can happen and we will become flexible and accommodating to it. Some things may seem crazy or out of order. Regardless, as teachers, we are here to guid and inspire our student towards a better life and, we can’t do that unless we release our need to control.