I consider myself very logical when it comes to teaching. I don't really consider myself creative or "progressive."
But, lordy, I've joined a piano teachers list. And it's completely shocking to me how far outside the box I teach. In fact, I'm so far out of the box, I'm standing in the next field, staring at them a bit stunned, wondering why in the heck they are way over there.
It's a little weird, because I just assumed everyone would be standing over here.
A whole lot of teachers dig through "methods," trying to figure out which ones get which results. I don't understand this. I have certain goals of understanding for my students, and... I just teach it to them. The thought of sitting around and waiting for a method book to present a principle or skill is completely beyond my comprehension.
You look at the student, where they are, and you figure out where they need to grow, and you teach what they need to learn.
What's even more bizarre, is someone will pop on the list, and say "Oh no! I have X problem!" And FLOODS of people will helpfully listen and suggest, "Switch to X method!"
Er... um, if you tell them how to fix the problem, they won't NEED a method. A method won't fix anything! It's just... silly! Tell them how to fix the problem!
But a method is very comforting. It promises that the student is getting a complete education (not that it always delivers). It promises that the teacher won't forget a skill. It promises that every skill will be sufficiently learned. It promises to do all the heavy lifting.
I think, sometimes, when we want to improve our writing or get published or get an agent or whatever, we seek the "method." After all, the method promises to get us to our goal without a single missed step.
In my experience, the "method" works with about 10% of students, if that.
Because what they need to review, what they need learn next, what they need for motivation, what they need to table for awhile, is not only different for every student, but different for every student every week.
I definitely think it's important to learn from other people. It's much wiser to learn from other people's mistakes. I think that's where the line stops. Learn from other's mistakes. But find your own way and keep your own counsel.
Sometimes the method will take you around the block, down a side street, over a hill, and around the town before you get what you wanted.
Just look at what you need, where you want to go, and you will see the direct line. And you'll be surprised, if you look around after you arrive at your destination, at the detours a "method" takes.
Have you ever "gone" somewhere in your own way, a way perfectly logical that worked, only to look around discover you're way outside the box?