This blog belongs to Patricia Atkinson and was created as part of the Education Media Design and Technology program at Full Sail University.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Week 4 Reading: Peer Response: Brian Thomas

I loved your comments about being enrolled and re-inspired in the classroom. It is so true, especially in the educational field, that even when we are passionate about something we may stay passive. Why is that? For me, its because I feel like I’m barely making it with all the mandatory stuff--and life—and would rather not stretch to try anything new or say anything that may cause extra effort. But if we all thought like that, there would never be any innovation! I always use my busy life, or inadequate salary, or student behavior, as an excuse not to be “enrolled”, as you say. Maybe I need to remember that being active/enrolled starts with a simple change of mind-set, and allowing opportunity and possibility to have potential in my life. I too have now started looking at occurrences in my classroom and life differently. I honestly have had some pauses when I wanted to blow up at my students, but instead took a deep breath and remembered the Art of Possibility and everything that the Zander’s shared. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. I think we all needed this book here at the end of our masters and for many of us the end of our school years—now lets slug it out and get ‘er done!

Brian's Original Post:

I am truly amazed at the gift of working with people that Benjamin Zander has. His story in chapter nine was amazing.Knowing how tough students can be on performances, especially classical music concerts it’s truly a testament to his ability to engage a crowd, no matter who they are comprised of. I must say that I was inspired by this chapter to really try to create a spark in my classroom next year with the endless possibilities of learning.

I appreciated the apology story about Cora the violinist. I think it was a great reminder of many of the other points in the book but most importantly to remain humble, appreciative, and understanding of other people’s situations and circumstances before forming an opinion or casting any form of judgment.

The story about the teenage orchestra in Sao Paolo was just great. I can recall chaperoning situations that I had challenging students and issues and also recall responding to them aggressively early in my career. However, I learned that dealing with the person and the cause for the action is much more effective and sensitive. I really liked this story because it gave me another great strategy for overcoming those challenging chaperoning situations.

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