CHALLENGES AND REWARDS IN THE CLASSROOM

August 30, 2014

Anna here..

The past couple of days have been packed full of teaching, and have held, for me, one of the most rewarding personal experiences of the trip so far. Several days ago, Catherine (one of the piano teachers) had a rather difficult pupil, who decided she was not in the mood for a piano lesson, and was generally playing up. Catherine asked if I could come and help, so I went in and started trying to teach her. I was met with a rudeness that I hadn’t seen since we arrived in Zambia, and is apparently very rare in the children. She had done no practise, and physically walked out of the lesson several times. Having discussed the best approach with Catherine whilst the girl was out the room, when she returned, I was much stricter than I’ve had to be as a teacher in the past. By the end of the lesson, I had the distinct impression that this student hated me with a passion.

                                                                                “Music For Fun” with Lulu

 

Yesterday, however, I had a surprise. Catherine called me out of another lesson I was observing to say that the same girl was back, and was asking if I could teach her again. Slightly surprised, I started teaching her, and found that she had worked extremely hard, and actually taken in all my suggestions from the previous lesson. We had a great lesson, at the end of which she gave a genuinely heartfelt apology for her ‘behaviour and rudeness’ in the previous lesson, explaining how she played up for attention and felt very bad about it afterwards. Her apology was entirely sincere, and completely unprompted, and we preceded to have a great chat about what she wanted to do and how she could continue with her music. The memory of those two lessons will certainly remain with me for quite a while.

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