In reading this week, one phrase stood out. The conductor doesn’t make a sound. He uses the strengths of his orchestra to produce it. The first story that made me think about my classroom was with the Cuban and American Youth Orchestras. Due to unseen circumstances one piece of music was not given to one group. This almost ruined the concert until one conductor came up with an idea. Let the youth teach each other. This pressure caused them to think outside of the box for a moment. I want to say for a moment because when they saw a solution that worked they almost resort back to business as usual. How many times do teachers find that ah-hah moment and then resort back to the routine? In the next scenario, one viola blanks out during a crucial time in the performance. The violinist sitting next to him seamlessly plays the part on his instrument that is not tuned at the same pitch. The piece went off flawlessly. Wouldn’t it be great to be in a class and not be noticed? Not because you are ineffective, but because your students are collaborating so well that they embrace the assignment and make it their own.
Wow! Duwaine, you eloquently spoke the truth that many of us have seen or at least I have seen. Too often I’ve seen teachers in training get that “Ah ha!” moment in training go back to their classroom and apply their “Ah ha” solution with great anticipated success and not use that success to replicate it with other classes of students. This was a prime example of that. This worked because of what we know today, collaboration works. In collaboration students take ownership of their learning and sharing of that learning. Not in a way that is boastful but in a reassuring prideful way. They would seem to say, “I know what I’m talking about and the correct way that I just shared it with my peers confirms that I know what I’m talking about.” You made an excellent point.