Scott Morrison More about me...

Who am I? What matters to me?

(in order of influence?)

I’m a musician. I spent many hours in a practice room with a piano as a college student, even though my degree is in English. I performed a solo recital, played a movement of a Mozart piano concerto with the university orchestra, and played in chamber groups and with classmates. Since college I haven’t made piano a priority. It wasn’t always easy to find a piano in while teaching abroad. At times I find myself using techniques my teacher applied in her piano studio with my own students. I would say my experience in music has strongly shaped my ideas about learning and teaching.

I’m a creative. I consider teaching a creative act. For me a classroom isn’t a laboratory. It’s more like a practice room or master class. For me, teaching isn’t a science. But like music, it has methods—basic, advanced and experimental. I prioritize creating experiences for my students, I ask them to think through a set of ideas, to spend time thinking and contemplating—lately I’ve found a classroom is a powerful place for contemplation. Outside of class I expect students to do something—perhaps a read a text, watch a film, or go try an activity. I often ask students to try something they don’t think they’re good at, or look into something they are unfamiliar with. As with most teachers, I teach first in the way I learn best: lots of options, variety, and stimuli. Within the range of options I make sure there is something for every type of thinker and learner.

I’m a yogi. I’ve been practicing yoga for nearly as long as I’ve been teaching. About ten years, so far. A few weeks ago my teacher said to an unsure beginning student “You have no idea what’s going to happen. Try it.” Learning and life are that way, I blieve. We truly don’t have any idea what’s going to happen, but we can breathe, ground ourselves in our strength, and listen to what our body and intuition are telling us. My yoga practice has taught me about myself, reminded me to be patient no matter what may be happening. I notice now when I’m stressed, and it has taught me methods of how to cope and address that moment. I has reminded me to reflect on my connection with others, and the feelings of others. As a teacher, it has grounded me with empathy and compassion in those moments when students, parents and colleagues pose challenges.

I’m a West Virginian, but I haven’t lived there since 2006. It’s a small state with a reputation that precedes it. My family comes from that region, either southern West Virginia or eastern Kentucky, and the older I grow the more I admire the stories and culture of the region. There used to be a post office in Knott County named for my great grandmother. It was at the back of my great grandfather’s general store. Within a year of each other, both died of the 1918 Spanish Flu, leaving my grandmother and her siblings orphans, but it also meant they went to college. It’s not an entirely happy story and has never been an easy place to be from, but I’m glad grew up there. It reminds me that whatever may be happening to me, my family has probably been through worse.

Created By
Scott Morrison
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Credits:

Created with images by KutterKind - "piano music instrument" • beludise - "man silhouette people" • jetportal - "Bakasana"

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