Happy New Year, everyone!
Now that the holidays are over and we are back in Mississippi, I figured I’d get back to work on my little ol’ blog. For the month of January, my weekly posts will be on the topic of character education. I spent a lot of time reviewing literature on character education in the music classroom last semester, and it has definitely become and interest, if not a passion of mine.
In my 3 years of teaching high school choir, I felt it was my responsibility to not only teach my content, but to make sure my students were kind, compassionate, and respectful, not only to each other, but to ANYONE. I can’t really explain why it became so important to me.
On some level, I think it was because I felt my students were a reflection of me, and it doesn’t sit well with me to have myself poorly represented. That seems a bit selfish, doesn’t it? I don’t know that I intend for it to seem that way, but I think it goes for any organization. You want your employees to best represent your company. You want your cast to be best representative of your work. Though, that doesn’t mean we do these things to bring glory to our own name. I can’t say that I ever felt personally offended if a student got in trouble or acted poorly outside my classroom, but I did feel that it stung our choral organization a bit. The more I type, the more I can’t stop making it sound so self serving!
On the other hand, why wouldn’t we teach our students to be good, kind people? My favorite thing about teaching high school students is the challenge of reaching kids one last time before they graduate and go to college or enter the working world. With all the struggle in the world these days, I think it’s worth teaching students in any content area the value of compassion, and specifically coexisting in the midst of disagreement.
Perhaps it is important to me because I can’t find a reason that it should be overlooked. Sometimes I feel like our content is just a medium for reaching students on how to navigate the real world. I’m super glad that music is my medium! I just received this Christmas card from my former Concert Choir students, and it brought tears to my eyes. This is why character is greater than content.
I just wanted to plant the seed in your brain for the next 4 weeks! Next week’s post will be an introduction to Care Theory, what that is, who are some prominent people exploring it, and how we can use it in our classrooms!
I’m really excited to share this topic with you, and hope that we can continue the conversation via social media! I’ll be using the hashtag #CareChoir to keep my posts and any dialogue that occurs in one central place! Looking forward to January!
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