We face the usual New Year challenges; sorting classes, timetables, concert diary and events. Getting to know new students. Not just names, but their ability, application, initiative, temperaments.
Eventually we discover if family situation/breakdown/pressures contribute to lack of focus and coping. Or floods!
Teachers in eastern Australia, especially Queensland, face extra challenges; the floods have caused much mess, stress and trauma. (We're fine. But sympathies to the many who have lost all.)
How can we support students traumatised by loss of homes, possessions, instruments and music, perhaps friends and relatives? As music teachers often work with smaller groups or one-on-one, we're in a unique position as listening ears. Students see us as mentors, parental figures, even friends. (I asked one to cease including my email in long cc lists of teenage girlie chain letters!) The one person they open up to is often a music teacher.
If etudes and scales miss out for a lesson, so be it.
How can we help you? We could spring clean and pass on music, instruments and resources. Hit reply with requests to post to the list or email Education Queensland's Damian Hoey email@example.com.
A useful tool to understand students is the 4 Temperaments as outlined in an earlier e-Zine. To request this, reply with "Temperaments" in the subject header.) I enlarge on this in my In Service workshops
What's NEW in 2011?
Thanks for Christmas concert tips; I'll post your responses mid-year. Are you interested in a blog/ twitter? I shunned Face Book since I was hacked but OK, it kept people in contact during the floods so I may rejoin. (I like human factor phone calls and email.)
Happy new term! May it be your best yet!