1. Have you had a choral director who was a significant influence on your wanting to become a choral music educator? Describe the attributes of this person.
Most people would answer this question with a choral director that positively influenced their life in music education. I had a few of those directors but I also had a few that made me never want to teach older choirs. My high school choir director was a great man, great director and a great musician. For all the things he did great he had some major flaws as well. He was very arrogant, full of himself and thought him and his group was the best there ever was. Before contest he would tell our choir that all the judges we would meet would be out to get us. He told us that we were so good that many of the judges were jealous of us. I know now that we were a very good high school group but I don’t think the judges were out to get the students as much as they might have been our director. He made us feel like we were amazing and he would walk out of rehearsal if he felt we were not working up to his standards. He would hand select students every year that were “his students” and those students would get the solos. Any other student that was taking lessons outside of his class was never considered to be one of “his students” because you were getting outside help. My senior year I had vocal problems, which ended up being due to my tonsils, but he made me talk to the entire choir about proper vocal care. He pointed out to the choir that this was what happened when students pushed to perform in every ensemble (band and choir), musical and contest. He was one of the reasons I originally shied away from being a music educator because I did not want to be that into myself and my own accomplishments. I have never really liked high school choirs since then because I feel like most of the focus is placed on what the conductor has accomplished. He is an example of the kind of educator I do not want to be.
2. Why does the general public often perceive the field of education as not being a real profession? What can help to change this negative perception?
The public does not see education as being a real profession because the view it as a nine month job that has a lifetime job security attached. Many people do not understand that being a teacher requires life- long learning. A professional is willing to spend their own time and resources to keep their skills up to date. The public does not see teachers using summer breaks to attend workshops and college courses to update their skills.
The more teachers that are seen in the community and the more parents’ teachers know, and then the community can see the real work that goes into being a teacher. Belonging to a professional organization is another great way for teachers to be viewed as a professional. When teachers attend workshops and college courses I think it is a great idea for teachers to share a “fun fact” that they learned, so that...