Interestingly, a number of friends and colleagues have shown me their 'Visiting Music Teacher Annual Review' form, which seem to be all the rage this time of term. To be frank, I was shocked by many of them. Whoever are thinking these up, seem to have a very narrow (often entirely exam orientated) viewpoint of progress. In my recent Webinar for the ISM on the 'The Challenges of the Digital age', I pondered at some length at what progress is all about today. I found a good analogy in the way children complete and advance to the next level in a computer game. This form of 'progress' is very understandable, immediate, clear and exciting. And we can learn an awful lot from this. In a way, a lesson is a logical sequence of engaging and appropriate activities, carefully set up by the teacher in response to the pupil, where progress is continually achieved. This also chimes in with a young persons need for pace and fairly instant gratification through short term goals.
If you happen to know anyone who is responsible for these unfortunate documents, maybe very gently suggest they might like to spend 35 minutes watching my recent Webinar. If we don't begin to change their views, we will surely end up with more and more pupils becoming despondent and giving up.
Let's get a real discussion going on this, so do add comments below.