One of the first things you hear when you start your journey as an educator is "effective classroom management". But what does that even mean? And how do we take the things we have learned and tailor them to meet the needs of our students? Is it OK to slip up every now and then or is rigorous structure needed every second of every day to get anything done?
I grappled with all of these questions for so long before I was introduced to the Schulwerk - my lessons just weren't engaging the way I was hoping they would be. And then, in November 2008, my life changed forever. My cooperating teacher at the time helped pay my way to my first AOSA National Conference - a debt I will never be able to repay. She also insisted I participate in Intro to Schulwerk. Now, I cannot obviously say that I came away knowing everything there is to know about Orff-Schulwerk, but I can say that I came away refreshed, renewed, and with answers to a lot of my burning questions.
Utilizing this new approach, I found that my students were more engaged, more willing to participate, and less wiggly (probably because I wore them out with all those Amidon dances!). This is what the Orff-Schulwerk can offer and this is why I consider myself so lucky for having been introduced to such an amazing approach for teaching music. As my life and career have shifted, I find that my lessons plans aren't the center of my focus much anymore. However, every chance I get to introduce my tiny 4-year-old students to Orff-Schulwerk is a moment I cherish.
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on how the Schulwerk has made an impact on your life. What do you most remember about your first experiences? How has it shaped you as an educator?
Maybe, just maybe, it will give you that little extra push to get out of bed your first day back. :)