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Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Duds Among The Sacred

How many of you have a bad teacher story?

Teaching is a sacred profession. But like any profession, there are bound to be some serious duds. Aside from the near universality of it, what most strikes me about this phenomenon is how the memory of a bad teacher is painfully seared into memory, even when some of the particulars - often decades old - are a little fuzzy. Want to try this out? Just ask someone the name of a bad teacher they've had and listen for how quickly the name is spit from that someone's mouth. As they tell their story, listen to the pain in that same someone's voice.

I'm sure many could also easily recall the name of an inspirational or exceptional teacher. And this is understandable either way given the number of hours we spend with teachers, especially in grammar school. But each time I hear a bad teacher story, or think of my own sadistic third grade teacher Mrs. Betz, I'm newly struck by the huge influence teachers exert, for worse or better. I'm also reminded anew of my own responsibility as a teacher, for better and then better than that.

1 comment:

  1. Although I spent almost thirty years as a public school music educator, I never considered teaching to be a sacred profession. The volunteer work I've done before and since retirement comes closer to sacred because the pay has been negligible or non-existent. I know you did not write this post in an effort to fish for compliments, so brace yourself because you're about to get a few.

    The continuing education music courses you teach provide a much-needed service for the community at large, especially for us oldsters. You are all about validation, Pat. The music of our youth buoys us to the top of he world once more. Our bones don't creek as loudly when you're around. People with your passion, creative energy and maturity are rare in the world of music education. I look forward to your next project, whatever that may be.