A few weeks ago during my field work, the music teacher was going to be absent. She knew a few weeks in advance. Normally, I spend every Tuesday and Thursday morning with my cooperating teacher, but a couple times I followed the 6th grade to music class. In the first music class I observed, the music teacher said she was going to have a substitute the next week and (since she heard that I can play multiple musical instruments), she asked if I could bring one of my instruments in and play something for the students. I happily agreed, and the next week I brought in my guitar and sung and played The Beatles classic, “Yellow Submarine” for the 6th graders.
Rewind to when I was a misfit in high school. I had a guitar lying around in my room, and I heard two of the English teachers were starting a guitar club. Since I decided I wanted to learn how to play it, I figured I might as well learn to play. So I showed up after school, and learned a few basic chords. Next thing I knew, I could play some rock classics like Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” and The Beatles “Day Tripper.” Eventually, I managed to teach myself to play many songs by bands like Nirvana, The White Stripes, and The Arctic Monkeys.
When I reached my senior year of high school, the student teacher in my English class brought his guitar and played a few songs for us. He was absolutely amazing at it. I had a sudden inspiration to improve my guitar skills and so I started practicing like crazy. Little did I realize, I was going to be like him years later and bring in my guitar to sing “Yellow Submarine.”
So here I am, a college student looking back at how I became inspired to play guitar. Sure I have wanted to learn how to play ever since I started listening to The Beatles at a very young age, but I did not actually take the time to learn how to play it until the English teachers at my high school started a guitar club.
What does the fact that I play guitar have anything to do with the fact that I am a teacher?
One plan I want to keep in mind for when I become a teacher is the after school organizations I can start. I am a double major in Education and Theater so there is a strong likelihood I will direct the school plays. I write for some magazine called Edge so I could become the faculty adviser to the school newspaper. I can edit and film videos. I have been a DJ and music news reporter for 90.5 WERG. I might not be able to be in charge of all of the organizations I could be part of, but it provides many wonderful opportunities I could provide to students.
Every school has social studies, math, science, and English classes, but what about after school activities? I could bring radio, film, journalism, theater, and even guitar to a school. My hobbies are important for me as an educator because I can share them with my students, and this is not limited to after school. The student teacher brought his guitar in during instruction didn’t he? Well, why can’t I do the same? Music can be incorporated into the classroom in many ways while hitting the common core standards. In fact, so can all of my other hobbies. Reading about course material can be effective, but bringing in hands on activities not only appeals to the tactile learner (whose needs are not always met in the classroom), but they can be used to hit the Common Core standards and appeal to the multiple types of intelligences in the classroom.
Hobbies can also be inspirational. Perhaps one of my students will feel inspired to learn guitar, write for a newspaper, or any of the other activities I brought in (just like I felt inspired to practice guitar when my 12th grade student teacher brought in his guitar). If I inspire someone and change their life forever in a positive way, then I am carrying out my personal mission as a teacher.