Friday, June 28, 2013

Through the Eyes of a Child: My Eye-Openers

We loved our annual Let's Play Music Convention! There was so much we learned that we wanted to share another teacher's insights from the weekend. Enjoy this guest post from teacher Trina Harding:

At the LPM symposium in early June, I was lucky enough to attend two days of classes and talks designed to help us as teachers improve the quality of instruction in our individual studios. We talked about classroom management, better ways to utilize Echo Ed and Edna, ways to help our parents help their children, and the incredible development of a child's brain. We heard from Shawni Pothier of the blog “71 Toes”, and Keri Maughan, a Love and Logic® coach, and we discussed the book The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle. It was a full and enriching weekend to be sure!

There was so much valuable information presented that it's difficult to summarize, but here are a few ideas that made an especially strong impression on me and that I think could be useful to almost any teacher or parent.
  • Arguing with children is like fighting fire with gasoline. Instead of battling back, we can turn an argument around and move forward by engaging the thinking, rather than the emotional part of a child's brain.

  • Kids will do things for a teacher they love that they won't do for others. They absolutely need to know their teacher loves them.

  • The 5 to 1 ratio. For every negative thing a child hears, they need to hear five positive statements in order for the positive (rather than the negative) to stick.

  • It's vital that we "honor" our children. Honoring them means that we hear them, respect them, and we never embarrass or humiliate them.

  • As parents, we're trying to teach our children so much of the time, that we often neglect to praise them and let them know the manythings they're doing we'll.

  • In any relationship (particularly with children), if we focus on the 10% that needs improvement, the need for improvement grows. If we focus on what's working, "what's working" grows.

  • The 3 W's for re-invigorating the brain (great for helping kids with homework). 1) Walking-moves blood to the brain, 2) Water-can increase brain activity by 67%, 3) Watermelon (any fruit)-the fructose improves brain activity.

  • Sight-reading, while playing the piano with both hands shows the highest level of brain activity. It engages all areas of the brain.

I know that I came away from Symposium full of ideas to implement in my Let's Play Music studio, tools for improving my parentingand a determination to be a better teacher. I truly do love my wonderful students, and I want to make sure they feel that love. I want my fabulous parents to leave each parent week feeling confident in their ability to help their child at home, and feeling that their parent/child bond is being strengthened throughout this program. And I want to do my part in helping these delightful little brains become even more incredible. I'm honored to have the chance.

Trina Harding is beginning her third year of teaching Let's Play Music. She is a vocal performer, mother to four sons and a daughter, and is always on the hunt for the perfect chocolate cake. This Summer, she's donning a Nun's Habit in a local production of "The Sound of Music."

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