Switching Roles

Author: Marta Djorovic

One of the days I served at Diggs-Latham Elementary, I decided to switch the role from being a teacher to being a student. The results were quite interesting and impressive! Some of the quietest students were telling me things that I have told them many times, such as, "Scratch your shoulder" or "Violin flies in" "Play on the 'A' string", and even "Take the elevator" (we call the elbow the elevator since we use it to go up and down from one to the other string). Some of the other students felt shy at first, but they started to open up to the idea and soon all of them were giving me instructions.

The problem I often encounter while teaching 4 and 5-year-old children is that even though they understand and know how to do what they are told, they are not able to accomplish the task on their own without step by step guidance to do so. Sometimes they initiate the steps by themselves, but do not continue unless the teacher, me, approve or confirm with a nod that what they were doing was correct. I believe as artists, we must encourage students’ creativity and teach them to be able to interpret what they have learned and grow up to be independent, critical thinkers.

June 18, 2020