What my job has taught me
I'm a teacher, so what I am teaching children and how I am teaching it is important to me. However, I sometimes realise how much my job has taught me. Obviously the initial training in Colourstrings and Kodály that I did 14 years ago (eeek, where has that time gone), gave me such a greater understanding and enjoyment of music than I ever got from my A-Level or Degree courses. I was very lucky that it lead to a job straight away. I can still remember the first proper music session I delivered. I had no real idea how long anything would take so had completely under-planned, I had pretty much got through my whole lesson plan with 10 minutes to go so had to make something up quickly. I seem to remember going round the room doing different animal noises, as if we were visiting a farm. I've still got no idea what the point of it was, musically at least, but never-the-less the children (3 year olds) and their parents went along with it, probably thinking this new teacher was a bit weird. Anyway, the point is I got through it, and I learned at least two things that day - 1. Always slightly over-plan (you can always take stuff out) and 2. Trust yourself that you'll get through it whatever happens.
Patience, oh dear yes, it has taught me patience, not that I always keep it. But I do know that I feel better, it fact it all feels better if I have been patient in a class. Losing my patience generally means I lose my dignity at the same time and feel pretty rubbish afterwards.
Don't worry about things going wrong - I try to laugh about it when they do, I think that probably helps me to relax and also helps parents and teachers to relax about it. Sometimes I learn from my mistakes, sometimes I don't. Sometimes showing children that you can get things wrong means they don't worry about making mistakes as well.
Don't feel self-conscious, or at least don't show it. Children don't care if you can't sing, but they do notice if you are insincere and unconfident.
Well that's a few things I've learnt, I could probably go on all day... but knowing when to stop is something I've learnt as well.