Pondering Success as a Teacher Educator

I’m cleaning out some older files, and scanning pages to make space for new work. I ran across a journal I wrote to a class at Hunter College, toward the end of the semester. I wrote: “The results of this class will not be known today or tomorrow. Grades will be given which reflect your work thus far. But true evaluation of a course is reflected in the change that’s made in the lives of children in the classroom. When you teach, if you use music and the arts to enrich the life of your classroom, and teach with joy and excitement, my success will have been moderate. If you get books, recordings and instruments for your classroom and use them on a regular basis, you and I will be more successful. If you integrate music and the arts into your teaching, and truly teach through the arts – my success will have been somewhat better. If you become an advocate for music and the arts in your school, and work to be sure every child has access to music, art, movement and drama every week with a trained specialist who works with a developmentally appropriate curriculum, then I will consider myself a success. Probably I will not know these results. I just set the goals, do my best to build your understanding of the essential nature of music and the arts for children, and we are done. I know I have earned my pay, but hope I have earned your learning, and a place for music and the arts in your classroom.

The best to you in your teaching career. I hope you remember that teaching is the most important job in the world, and your charge is to never be less than excellent. If you use the richness that I have seen within our class, and open yourself to all the wonders of the world and its children, you will be a critical different in shaping the future.”


Talk worth your listening time!

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Sir Ken Robinson is a smart man with a clear and compelling message about how to escape education’s death valley.

“In some parts of the country 60% of children are dropping out of high school.  In Native American communities it’s 80%.  If we were to halve that number, the net gain to the U.S. economy would be nearly 1 billion dollars over 10 years.

It costs an enormous amount to mop up the damage from the dropout crisis.  But the dropout crisis is only the tip of the iceberg . . . .”