Just to be clear right out of the shoot, I do know that these are not the judges for this season on The Voice. This is the one show I try to catch. (sidenote: And I really like Pharrell on the show more than Usher.)
Do you ever sit in church, listening to a sermon and wonder how the pastor made that connection between something in his day-to-day life and scripture? Well, I had one of those moments after watching the opening night of the “blind auditions” on The Voice Monday night.
In case you don’t watch the show, the first shows are of the four judges listening to singers with their backs to them. The idea is that the judges won’t have any biases based on the performer’s appearance. Instead, they are able to fully focus on the performance. How does this relate to education, you might wonder? Hmmm…I’m glad you asked.
All too often throughout my years as an educator I have heard teachers talking about the incoming students . Last year’s teacher gives “advice” to the new teacher, sharing behaviors, strengths/weaknesses, and personal feelings. The sad part of this is that the kids are entering the class with biases already created by their new teacher. There are certain bits of information that may be important to share as a child leaves your class to go on to the next, however, most should be left to be discovered by the new teacher. This enables the teacher to form her/his own relationships, focusing on the learner and not on preconceived notions.
On The Voice blind auditions, if a judge likes what they hear, they turn their chair around to show interest, and a desire to have that contestant on their team. It’s a huge deal to get a “four-chair turn”. If one judge turns around then the performer automatically moves on to the next round, but to get multiple judges turning around is pretty amazing. They get to pick which judge’s team they want to be on. These people are putting their dreams on the line, being vulnerable in front of millions of people. Our students come to class each day vulnerable. Their dreams are being discovered, molded, and nurtured each day…or they’re not. They feel like their teacher wants them on their team each day…or they don’t. They go home each day feeling like they had a ” four-chair turn” with this amazing confidence-boost…or they don’t. Teachers are leaders. They have so much power. Let’s use it to build the students and encourage their dreams.