Posted by Jay Bertolet on August 17, 1999 at 07:03:37:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Please help!! What is a Bb Babordon????? posted by Josh Whitlow on August 16, 1999 at 22:37:31:
I'm not qualified to assess how good a writer you are Josh, but I think you're getting your thoughts across quite clearly. And while we may be agreeing on most of what is said in this thread, we are having one disagreement. That's okay with me because it means I may actually learn something!
I think it is admirable that you aren't willing to leave a single child "in the dust" because they exhibit bad judgement in making choices such as preferring one instrument over another because of appearance. I think your solution to the problem is correct as well. You should take the time to make an attempt to correct an error in judgement, this may be the essence of what teaching is. However, in my opinion, too many educators take that attitude too far and end up focusing on the "problem" student at the expense of the advanced student. It is an old axe I have to grind with our education system that seems to put more emphasis on "mainstreaming" the problem student and ignoring the "gifted" student. Maybe my attitudes are the result of being a Mensan and teaching in a magnet high school for the arts. What I see every week is that when you combine excellent teachers with excellent students great things happen on a regular basis. At the school I teach at, bad performance isn't acceptable despite the danger to a student's self esteem. If a student doesn't perform, they are transferred out of the magnet school and back to a regular one. Without exception, every student I've had gets a solid dose of common sense from me and they quickly learn that substance counts, not intention. The students that don't learn this invariably end up back in the regular high school system.
I suppose I can concede that your situation, as a public school music educator, dictates that you spend more time trying to get every kid in your charge on the straight path early on so that they will be exposed to instrumental music in the long term. My hope is that you and your colleagues are also nurturing the advanced student knowing that they will make the most of the information you pass on to them. Maybe our disagreement is simply one of priorities rather than technique. What do you think?