In September, ETM hosted five full days of intensive training for our music teachers to prepare them for the coming school year. Twenty-two new and returning ETM Music Teachers, as well as five New York City Department of Education music teachers, attended the training sessions.
Led by Director of Programs Pete Pauliks, with support from the program staff, training workshops covered topics including classroom management, lesson planning, integration strategies, and standard benchmarks for student achievement. ETM also provided each music teacher with an array of resources to consult throughout the school year, including songbooks, lesson ideas, and a customized lesson planner to track student progress.
In addition to reiterating fundamental ETM teaching philosophies and expectations, the training included supplemental workshops addressing additional topics. For instance, Megan Jadro, a Special Education teacher and consultant, gave a presentation on the unique challenges of teaching music to special needs students, and Director of Programs Pete Pauliks showcased the benefits of utilizing SMART Music technologies in the classroom. ETM’s Professional Development and Consulting Specialist Chris Marolf introduced the Orff methodology of music education, which creatively engages the imaginations of elementary school students with fundamental musical concepts.
The music teachers expressed their gratitude for ETM’s training and preparation. One teacher shared, “I love the way ETM’s Benchmarks are clearly defined, giving teachers a definite framework and chief aims to keep children aligned with standards.” Many teachers also appreciated the support provided to them by the ETM community. One remarked, “I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend a whole week bonding with my fellow ETM colleagues… It really established ETM as an ultra supportive organization made up of expert supervisors with superior experiences. What an awesome family to be a part of. [I feel] truly inspired to be part of ETM.”
The program and office staff also expressed their enthusiasm for their community of ETM teachers. Mr. Pauliks shared his excitement about the caliber of ETM’s 2010-11 music teachers, saying, “We are very fortunate to have secured such a wonderful roster of talented music teachers to serve our children. With the support we offer them, we are confident they will continue to build wonderful music programs that support a well-rounded education for everyone. It’s going to be a remarkable year in the music classroom!” Both the music teachers and the staff that supports them felt that this year’s training was one of the most successful yet. One new ETM Music Teacher remarked, “This is the type of professional development that I wish I’d had during the last seven years of my career.”
Providing music teachers with the resources and support they need to succeed in the music classroom remains a fundamental principle of ETM’s philosophy. Therefore, the intensive September ETM training will be reinforced throughout the year both by customized professional development sessions and by monthly site visits and individualized mentoring. For instance, this October, Mr. Pauliks and Field Supervisor Allison Mickelson organized a workshop tailored to middle school music teachers. First, Mr. Pauliks demonstrated key middle school teaching techniques by leading 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from East Harlem partner school St. Ann’s School in a music lesson. Later in the day, both Ms. Mickelson and Mr. Pauliks introduced teachers to repertoire appropriate for middle school students and individually advised them in preparing for winter concerts.
Ongoing training and professional development helps our music teachers provide quality, comprehensive music instruction to the 13,000 students in ETM’s partner schools. This year’s training is made possible in part by grants from the David and Minnie Berk Foundation and the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation.