the influence of a teacher

As I have the great opportunity of starting my piano studio over from scratch in a new city, I have been thinking a lot about things I want to change, things I want to improve and and things I want to do differently. I have thought a lot about my goals as a teacher, my teaching philosophy and what I am trying to accomplish as a teacher. I have thought about my own teachers and how they have not only taught me piano lessons but have helped me to become a better person.

Yesterday as I was going through a box of papers and books, I came upon this great quote, which I think is so applicable to us as teachers, and I wanted to share it!

I have come to the frightening conclusion
that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach
that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make
a life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture
or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated,
and a person humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are,
we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be,
…we help them become what they are capable of
becoming.
-Goethe
Jennifer Boster

3 Responses to “the influence of a teacher

  • I LOVE this. What a powerful and insightful poem. Thanks for sharing it!

  • I love this poem! I like pondering how it applies to my role as a mother/teacher to our children as well.

    On another note… one of the greatest bits of advice I received after relocating and starting my studio from scratch was to incorporate a lab as part of the lessons. It has worked out well and I am so glad I decided to – both for the added benefits for my students and the flexibility it affords me while raising my own children at home where I teach.

  • Heidi – I assume you are referring to a theory computer lab? I am planning on incorporating that in my studio for the first time! Each student will receive 15 minutes on the computer in addition to their lesson. I'm excited!