While the start of the new school year was still far away from the thoughts of most children, ETM staff and teaching artists were hard at work to prepare for the coming months. Director of Programs Peter Pauliks, Assistant Program Director Nicholas LaFleur, and Field Supervisors Chris Marolf and Leah Potteiger led ETM's newly-hired and returning teaching artists in two rounds of training for a total of eight days. During this time, teaching artists learned how best to carry out ETM's mission of providing a quality comprehensive and sequential music education to New York City inner-city schools and finding ways to use music as a tool to support other academic subjects.
New Hire Training took place at the end of August in midtown Manhattan, at the offices of Clifton Budd & DeMaria, thanks to the generosity of Howard Estock, and at St. Brendan School in the Bronx. Topics addressed during the five days ranged from integrating music with other academic subjects to maintaining discipline in the classroom, with a host of entertaining and educational activities thrown into the mix. Highlights included a presentation on lesson planning by former Teaching Artist Jennifer Greene, a presentation on connecting music to literacy by Teaching Artist Shanna Lesniak-Whitney, a presentation by long-time public school music teacher Elaine Gates, and a session for new teaching artists to share their ideas for mock lessons.
Ten new teaching artists attended the August training, as well as three former interns, who worked alongside ETM teaching artists last year and will be full teaching artists this year.
Less than two weeks later, just before the first day of school, all teaching artists and interns gathered for three days to participate in the tenth annual Teaching Artist Academy, hosted for two days at The McGraw-Hill Companies, and for one day at Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School in East Harlem.
In addition to materials to use in the classroom, all teaching artists received a binder complete with useful information and a collection of songs, to aid in lesson preparation and repertoire selection. Workshop facilitators included Yolanda Borras, Judith Thomas, and Elaine Gates, who made wonderful presentations entitled "Exploring the Culture of Latin America and Spain," "An Orff Workshop," and "Choral Conducting Techniques and Repertoire" respectively.
Mr. Pauliks noted, "New Hire Training included more discussion and sharing this year, because most of the people we hired have degrees in education and several years of classroom experience behind them… and the best teaching tool is experience." He found the Teaching Artist Academy to be an exciting way to meet all of the 2008-09 teaching artists and that "word spread quickly about how supportive the ETM staff is with teaching materials, troubleshooting, and building relationships."
New teaching artists are already excited about joining ETM – one new teaching artist stated, "Working for ETM has been a very healing experience. After teaching in New York City for the past two years, it is a pleasure to work for an organization that supports and mentors their staff so thoroughly."
ETM provides about 18 more hours of training workshops during the school year. In addition, program staff observes and evaluates teaching artists in the classroom, and provides mentoring, so that every teaching artist will have the support to realize ETM's mission and goals.
ETM training is made possible in part by grants from the Dana Foundation, The Dickler Family Foundation, and the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation.