Ask Joel Reader Appreciation by Joel Wagner - February 1, 2008July 2, 20103 Lately, I have noticed a larger number of prospective and newer teachers leaving comments to my various articles. This has helped inspire me to offer what advice I can in a (hopefully) weekly question and answer forum. For lack of creativity, we’ll call it “Ask Joel” and begin next week. Any question is fair game, whether it’s about about teaching, classroom management, band directing, blogging, or whatever else! Email me and let me know your questions. I will choose from the questions I receive and post answers to them on Fridays. Why do this? Well, first of all, it makes me think more in-depth about certain topics. After my terrible first couple of years of teaching, I have blocked some of the pain out of my mind. I forget the confusion I had. I don’t think about those things too much any more. Hearing questions directly from newer teachers helps me go back and remember what advice I received that wasn’t helpful as well as what advice I wish I would have gotten. It also presents an open forum for other, much better, and more experienced teachers to chime in with their helpful hints and try to guide these current and future educators. Basically, it is a continuation of why I began this blog in the first place. I want to keep great teachers from quitting before they become great. Hopefully this will provide such a forum to do this. So I have a question…what now? Email me! Leave a comment. Whatever. I am going to dig through all of my old comments and see if there are any unanswered questions and start there. As more people send me emails, I will post my answers and open them up to the community of readers so that you get a broad spectrum of answers and possible solutions to your specific problem. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.