It’s All About The Music, Man

Though most grudgingly
And without full admission
They’ve slowly come ‘round
They will ask for my music
Steely Dan, Zappa, and Beck

I love this. I love playing music they’ve never heard, that sounds kinda strange…that they can’t help but think is cool and want to know more about and hear louder. This week I had a student who asked me to play Bob Dylan because she remembered it from a class last year. I had another student who just didn’t do anything and was really having a hard time in my class. On one of the last days of school last year, after he had failed my class, we started talking about music. It turns out we both like Iron Maiden. Then, like out of a dream, I find myself in a debate about whether the first album, Killers, or Number of the Beast was the best of Iron Maiden…with a kid less than half my age.

We didn’t mention any standards or follow a protocol for this discussion. We just talked like two humans with a shared interest. I understand that this doesn’t happen with every student and every teacher. And I can’t prove that if I have him in class again that he will do better. But I bet ten bucks he would. Because now we know each other. I wish there was more time for this. There is an intangible experience of being a teacher that I feel is just as important as those things which we believe can be measured.

Mr. Teachbad

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One Response to It’s All About The Music, Man

  1. Ms Thiem says:

    I’m inclined to agree! I have students that my not get fabulous grades all the time, but will attempt to do their work. Another teacher will see that kid working in my class and say, “How’d you get that asshole to do anything?” It might be simply because I don’t think the kid is an asshole. That being said, it is hard not to react when a kid starts off being an asshole. I mean geting to kmow you may ultimately help, but I need to want to get to know you first.

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