In the first section titled Your Paradigms, I commented how regular teachers’ beliefs, whether thought or spoken as both are equally powerful, set the minds and attitudes of students under them. Because regular teachers’ mindsets had great depth of influence as I observed, I also had to be equally honest and ask the same direct questions of myself. What influence does my mindset have over them? Do I like where my students currently are? Do I realize that is exactly where I have caused them to be? While students are in any classroom setting, they will never surpass their teachers, unless teachers open doors and invite them to step through. Is not the goal of every teacher to have his/her students get beyond him or her? Do I want dependent learners or independent learners following after me?
OUT OF A JOB.
For many years I taught private piano lessons. As a concertizing pianist well-known in the area, I had the privilege of teaching many students. I made it my piano teacher philosophy that I would teach every student so well that they too could be concertizing pianists if they wished. A few of my students actually did so and went on to full time music careers. One of them was accepted into Eastman School of Music as a piano major. His Eastman piano professor said to him one day to tell his piano teacher back home that he had done an excellent job of preparing him. So what was my philosophy that brought about such a comment from an Eastman piano professor? My piano teacher goal was to teach myself out of a job! I taught my piano students how to teach themselves successfully and evaluate their own playing so that they would no longer need me as an instructor! After all, would not there come a time in each of their lives when they would leave for college and adulthood, and I of course would like them to continue with their music apart from me?
OUT OF A JOB AGAIN.
Perceiving how successful this philosophy was with my private piano students, I adopted the same for my public school general music students. I also taught them as if I was teaching myself out of a job and they would no longer need me. What kinds of doors have I opened in front of my students to step through? Have I invited my students to surpass me? As you read these various sections, I will let you judge for yourself whether or not I was successful at fulfilling my philosophy. When away at a music conference and a substitute teacher came into my classroom, I found out my students would eagerly and cordially instruct the substitute teacher on how to teach the music and to what level of artistry. The substitutes’ notes, when I arrived back, were always fascinating reads. Many of my public school students joined private Suzuki music lessons of all kinds, the city’s youth symphony orchestra, the adult symphony orchestra, community organizations for performing musicals, the community civic chorus, and Elks Repasz band.
Have you ever allowed your students to be independent learners? Have you ever said to them, “OK, now that you know all the parts and you have all the skills, the rest is up to you. I’ll stand over here and just watch. You’re on your own!” I operated this way with any grade, even the primary grades of K-2. Do you know the ecstatic joy of watching them experience successes on their own, and finding the intrinsic satisfaction in those self-acquired successes? Do you know what is it like to allow them freedom of risk to crash and burn on their own, followed by the freedom of joy they experience from recovering by their own self-guidance? Note the balance between teacher guidance and teacher hands-off. Many teachers have no idea of when to back out of the scene. Success breeds success and excellence breeds excellence. However, as the next paragraph reveals, so does dependency breed dependency, and mediocrity breeds mediocrity.
BEYOND INDEPENDENT LEARNING.
Beyond the perfection of skills and independent learning, there is a realm of beauty and art. It seems few music students are ever led there. I experienced more than a few disheartening music class observations while working on my doctoral courses. Fourth and fifth grade students in a nearby elementary school could not perform together even a simple steady beat and maintain it. Neither could any students from kindergarten to third, where excellence must first be established. The music teacher had not even gotten her students to an acceptable gateway skill level for a steady beat. But what about music skills beyond gateway? And what about beyond skills, into the realm of beauty, artistry, and aesthetics? Where was the art of music? How sad her students never stepped into the realm of FEELING something beautiful coming from their own musical selves!
JESUS OUT OF A JOB?
Jesus had no reservations about putting Himself out of a job, so to speak. Jesus did not limit His disciples to what He did, which was in itself perfectly phenomenal. But instead Jesus opened wide the doors of opportunity and invited ALL who believe to step through. He encouraged them to equal Him and even surpass Him. “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;” (John 14:12).
Pastor, have you taught your church members how to be Christians in this world, not of this world, so successfully that you have taught yourself out of a job? Have you taught them to the point where they can be self-maintaining core Christian leaders? What doors have you invited them to step through?
Your Belief System and Your Church: (1) Introduction
Your Belief System and Your Church: (2) Your Paradigms
Your Belief System and Your Church: (3) Bondage or Freedom
Your Belief System and Your Church: (4) Gateway Skills
Your Belief System and Your Church: (5) Teacher Accountability
Your Belief System and Your Church: (6) Talking About vs. Doing
Your Belief System and Your Church: (7) Student Accountability
Your Belief System and Your Church: (8) Assessment
Your Belief System and Your Church: (9) Bury Dead Tradition
Your Belief System and Your Church: (10) Teaching vs. Learning
Your Belief System and Your Church: (11) Teachers' Three Phases
Your Belief System and Your Church: (12) Excellence is NOT a Goal
Your Belief System and Your Church: (13) My Teaching Limits Were Their Learning Limits
Your Belief System and Your Church: (14) Unlearning Creates Success
Your Belief System and Your Church: (15) Pioneers vs. Settlers
Your Belief System and Your Church: (16) Real and Lasting Learning
Your Belief System and Your Church: (17) Problems With Memory
Your Belief System and Your Church: (18) Ownership Creates Success
Your Belief System and Your Church: (19) Not Perfect, But Honest
Your Belief System and Your Church: (20) Take Risks and Give Away Control
Your Belief System and Your Church: (21) Out of a Job
Your Belief System and Your Church: (22) KCAASE and Proverbs 24
Your Belief System and Your Church: (23) Responding vs. Reacting
Your Belief System and Your Church: (24) Only When Performed
Your Belief System and Your Church: (25) A Supervisor's Vision
Your Belief System and Your Church: (26) Glimpses Into the Spiritual
Your Belief System and Your Church: (27) One Reason Alone