When I scroll through the Music Teachers groups on Facebook, there are always posts about how badly students are behaving in their classes. I have certainly seen it, as well ~ we are definitely in the “Entitlement Age”! We have lost a basic respect for each other, as highlighted in how our leaders speak to and about one another. I don’t know exactly why this is, but I do know that it isn’t getting better.

We are limited in the music classroom simply because we see our students so little. We have a lot to accomplish and little time for bonding. We do find ways to connect with our students, but it can be difficult, especially when the issues are on a clinical level.

So what are we to do?

I suggest setting up a “cadre” ~ a framework where there are firm limits for children, but tremendous freedom within those limits. As you might have suspected, I read this in Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. She goes into how to make this work in your home, but here are 5 ideas to make it work in your classroom:

  1. Make sure to cover every procedure and expectation at the beginning of the year and throughout, as new activities are created.
  2. See yourself as THE person in charge. As Fred Jones states in Tools For Teaching “Say what you mean and mean what you say”.
  3. Keep in mind that your students will learn because of you and in spite of you…this is very comforting for me!
  4. As my sister in law says “appreciate your kids”! You may not like everything they say or do, but you appreciate them for who they are.
  5. Allow for small indiscretions ~ kids can’t be perfect every single minute of the day. ….neither can we, for that matter!!