Well, it's finally here . . . my last week of teaching as I've known it. I've been looking forward to it, and now that it's here, I'm just not sure if I'm ready to leave. Today, one of my cute little students gave me this picture from our spring recital and some nice, travel-sized shampoos--because I'm going to be traveling . . . sooo cute.
Part of me wonders if I'm missing them enough. Acclamation to a new student has always seemed to give me butterflies. My very first official lesson with a student (that was not a photo-lab buddy) was in graduate school. The university gave me an assistantship--to this day I'm not sure why they picked me, and I nearly puked before that first lesson. Turns out, the student had perfect pitch and was majoring in violin--sure, no pressure.
It has gotten better since then, but I still get those same jitters during the first couple lessons with new students. I want to be able to give them my best and let's be honest . . . I want them to like me, too. Did you learn much from teachers you didn't like?
There were four semesters of private lessons and two semesters of teaching group lessons. It was nice sharing a studio (a.k.a. glorified practice room) with another teacher--both of whom are still good friends. Chris went on to get his doctorate at University of Oklahoma and Paula is currently working on hers at UMKC.
It was in the middle of a conversation with Chris that I first really experienced a decent spiritual/musical discussion. My faith could be a vital part of my academia--in fact, it was whether I chose to see it or not. And there have been many "moments" sitting next to the bench in which my mini-lecture on shaping a phrase or the discipline of practicing has alluded to more than just musical reality.
There have been little epiphanies of "my goodness, what a wonderful teacher I am!" and "my goodness, what a terrible teacher I am!" But I would say that overall, I think teaching is one of the gifts God has given me, and if I had not taken that assistantship and my current teaching position, I may not know it yet.
So I'm going to miss these guys. I have learned so much from them. It feels a little bit like moving away from a first crush or a first home. They were first. And they always will be.