Daily Teacher Checklists
At the Utah Piano Conservatory, we teachers strive to meet and keep a high standard, and one of the ways we do that is by using daily teacher checklists. Every day, each of us piano teachers fills out a checklist that reminds us of the things we should do to be better piano teachers for our students. For example, the checklist asks us to record the time we arrive each day to encourage promptness. Other items remind us to use the metronome and count with the students. And others help us remember to write detailed and specific assignments in the students’ lesson sheets.
One of the items on the checklist I find most helpful is the one that reminds me to know the virtue of the month and to refer to it during the lessons I teach. We have a different “Virtue for Virtuosos” every month, and this month’s virtue is sensitivity. Without the checklist, I would normally forget to bring up and teach about sensitivity with my students, but with this daily reminder, I remember to talk about it with various students each day. This reminds both me and the students what the virtue of the month is and encourages them to develop that virtue. It makes piano lessons here more than just piano lessons. Instead, they become lessons for life, instilling in our students the kind of values that will help them develop into hard-working, contributing adults and citizens of their communities. And the daily teacher checklists help us remember to do that for our students.
The last two items on the checklist are especially helpful for me as the program director. There is a place for teachers to write about “star students,” or those who are doing really well, and there is also a place to write about students who are struggling and need some extra help and attention. Since I am teaching in the solo room throughout the day, I can’t always know how each student is doing in all of the rooms. Some do fine in the solo room but really struggle in pass-off or technique. It is so beneficial for me to receive information on a daily basis about the students who are excelling and those who need some extra help. The teacher checklists make this kind of information and communication among the teachers possible.