Teachers should strive to improve themselves as professionals constantly.
Before a teacher can make this progress, they must first outline the areas
they must focus on. I have reviewed the INTASC standards chosen for CIMT
300/368 and have come to some of the following conclusions regarding my
own professional growth.
The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry,
and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning
experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.
I have had many wonderful experiences at Indiana State University.
The instruction has been stellar, and the professors have been excellent.
I believe that I possess a large amount of knowledge in the field of music
education. However, this knowledge does me no good if I cannot transfer
it to my students. To better myself in this standard, experience is necessary.
I have had many opportunities thus far (private teaching, band camps, etc.)
to experience different learning situations. With more opportunities in
the future, I will develop more of these concepts.
The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches
to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to
Through my experience private instructing, working band camps, and
helping beginners, I have developed a good personal understanding of what
diverse learning is. It disappoints me greatly to see any teacher, especially
one in music, that tries to force-feed their students in a manner that
the students do not grasp. We have to be aware and sensitive to the many
different ways students process the knowledge we give them. Versatility
is a key to good instruction. I believe that this is a strong point of
The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies
to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving,
and performance skills.
This standard ties in with #3. I have a good awareness of the learning
diversity of the classroom. However, I am lacking of solid and true ideas
and procedures that can be applied to these students that will harness
critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. These, however,
are being addressed in CIMT3/368.
The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation
and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive
social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.
The field of music fits in this standard like a glove. The success
of the subject matter we instruct relies on whether or not students actively
participate in it. The students will not progress very fast when they first
begin in music, and without motivation from their teacher, friends, and
themselves, they will quit. It is extremely important that the music educator
provide situations that will keep the students spirits and interests high.
Through my experience in marching band and private instruction, I have
some experience in this standard. In music, however, one can never have
The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and
media communication techniques.
Nonverbal communication is exactly what directors have to do!! We must
convey meaning and emotion with nothing but dots on a page and a stick
in our hand. Without this, the band, orchestra, or choir will fail. Experience
on the podium will provide me the opportunity to harness this skill.
The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject
matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
Once a music teacher has an active awareness of the music standards,
planning lessons becomes much easier. It is involving the community and
students that becomes the hard part. The community is the audience that
comes to the concerts. Their involvement in music instruction is near the
top of the pyramid. I must develop ways to effectively involve the community
in the instruction and education of my students.
The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment
strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and
physical development of the learner.
The process of assessment in music is an ever-present and constantly
ongoing one. Students play music, judge whether or not it was to the quality
they want, and fix accordingly. I need to better understand how I can use
this ongoing assessment as a tool for instruction.
The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates
the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents,
and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks
out opportunities to grow professionally.
This final INTASC standard is a good one to end with. It sums up all
the above standards and asks the teacher to decide on the worth of their
decisions inside each standard. #9 asks us to think about the ones our
choices affect the people around them. I will gain more knowledge of this
standard through the application of the standards above.