A music teacher’s highlights
It was interesting to see the contributions to last night’s MufuChat as it gave an insight into what music teachers really value in their work. The chat asked the question ‘What were your highlights of 2014-2015?’ and teachers shared descriptions, photos and videos of their highlights. There were some really impressive musical achievements that ranged from school musicals to whole year groups performing in impressive venues. These music teachers are, quite rightly, very proud to have brought about these musical marvels.
What really struck me, however, was how the vast majority of highlights centred around extra-curricular activities. The ‘extra’ that music teachers are expected to do. Only one teacher mentioned changes to teaching and learning in his department as a highlight.
Perhaps this isn’t that surprising when you consider that it’s the unusual that is most likely to stick in our minds. It just seems strange that the music education blogosphere, Twittersphere and all the other support networks typically focus on the curricular demands. Designing new schemes of work, moderating coursework, marking work, choosing new equipment to purchase… These are the things that music teachers are typically posting about throughout the year. Concerts, musicals and other large scale events appear significantly less frequently.
It seems a shame that so many wonderful activities take place in school music departments but it’s so rarely celebrated. I’ll certainly be making it more of a habit to ask teachers to identify their highlights – let’s bring the attention on the things that we want to remember rather than the daily grind of paperwork, marking and planning!