Ashley Hall's Professional Education Portfolio

K-12 Certified Music Educator

Habits of Mind #2, Learner-teachers

Habits of Mind

Throughout your experience in the Albion College Education Department, Shurmur Education Institute, you will be expected to develop yourselves as:

  1. learner-teachers: thoughtful and caring, open and eager to know and to be known and to respect self and others

Your classroom attitude should reflect these and other personal and professional attributes.”

This habit of mind was perhaps one of the most difficult for me to conquer. You wouldn’t think, considering the time and effort required for PSMT Standards and lesson planning, that working to “know and be known” would be such a hard thing. However, it has always been an internal struggle of mine.

In January of 2009, I was diagnosed with a genetic trait known as HSP. In persons with HSP, the brain functions differently; you notice more and your mind categorizes everything in multiple “folders” as opposed to one “general folder” based on the event or knowledge being learned. These individuals also analyze and reflect more deeply on the thoughts in their mind. They tend to over-analyze people and relationships, reading too much into a situation. This can cause irrational fear and anxiety to pop up where it normally wouldn’t.

For such a long time, I was afraid to let anyone in. I could teach, but only from a distance. True teaching cannot happen unless is happens from the heart. Only once I learned to let go of my fears and start sharing myself with my students, and letting the students share themselves in return, could I begin my real teaching journey.

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to help others to see the best in themselves. I’ve made great strides in understanding who I am and how my mind works. Instead of letting this genetic trait be a weakness, I’ve turned the tables and used it to my advantage. As a substitute teacher, I catch more wrong-doings in the classroom; I memorize every student’s name and use it to show them how I care, even if I am only with them for an afternoon. As a music teacher, I hear more detail in the music than just the wrong notes or incorrect phrases; with my eyes, I observe more technical problems (incorrect breathing, embouchure, posture, etc) and can more easily change my methods to correct it.

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