Thursday, April 3, 2014

93/365-2 Where I Work

"Hard Working Keys"

I have been teaching in the same place since 1992.  I can't believe it has been 24 years; well, really 23.  I took a year off early on to teach elementary music at the school that my girls were attending at the time.  Back then, as a doctoral student, I figured this would just be a job that would give me some experience, something to put on my resume, a stepping stone of sorts that would allow me to move on to bigger and better things.  After all, everyone knows that community colleges are the stepchildren in higher education.

As it turns out, I really love this environment.  My classes are small and I have an opportunity to get to know every music major that comes through our program.  What I have learned about myself in my twenty plus years of teaching at Brookhaven is that though I am trained as a music theorist and that is what I "do," my calling is really as a teacher.  God just put in the field of music to live out that call.  I know this because I am happy teaching just about anything - music theory and composition for sure, but also knitting and journaling and study skills.  There is just something about helping people learn, learn anything, and grow as human beings that feeds my soul.

Not only have I taught at the same school all these years, I have also taught in the same classroom most of that time.  Until I began the Capture Your 365 project it had never crossed my mind to take photos at school.  I am so grateful for prompt's like today's.  How sad would it be to come to retirement (should I ever get to that point) and have not a single visual reminder of where I spent so much of my life and gave so much of myself to others.

Though I do a lot of work outside of the classroom, it is in class with my students that I feel like I do my best work.  This is why I chose to focus on my classroom rather than office or dining room table at home.  Everything that I teach involves piano playing.  This photo is the piano in my classroom with a glimpse of the room itself reflected in the piano.  The music is a Chopin prelude that one of my classes was analyzing today.  You may notice an important thing missing in this shot - students.  I did not feel comfortable photographing my students and posting their pictures online.

I feel so blessed to have a job that I love doing exactly what I want to be doing.  My students are fantastic as are my colleagues.  As a teacher, I am never going to be rich in the material sense, but there is no amount of money that can buy the kind of joy I receive from being in the classroom every day.