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ETM Academy Prepares Music Teachers for Upcoming School Year

This summer, ETM launched its annual Academy with two days of intensive workshops to prepare music teachers for the 2011-12 school year. Training  covered topics such as lesson planning, curriculum mapping, classroom management, repertoire selection, music technology training, choral and instrumental conducting, and ensemble structure.

ETM Director of Programs Peter Pauliks and ETM Program Staff led discussions about how to best handle behavioral issues, implement effective assessment mechanisms, and integrate the music curriculum into a student’s daily life. ETM provided materials and support for each of the topics covered, and teachers left well-equipped to handle the coming school year.

The teachers felt the benefits of their ETM Academy training. One teacher shared, “Because of this year’s training, I have been able to write more effective lesson plans. By implementing ETM’s approach, I keep on track with what goals I am working toward in each activity, and I find that I am more effective in reaching these goals each class.”

During training, ETM also distributed a wide variety of musical materials to teachers. Program staff suggested age-appropriate repertoire, and sang through certain choral selections with the group.  By making these materials readily available, ETM introduced the teachers to the tools available to them year round in the ETM office resource lab. Teachers found this invaluable; one wrote, “I can honestly say approximately 90% of my concert repertoire was chosen through the reading sessions!”

ETM has restructured its training schedule this year to include weekly Wednesday evening training sessions during September and October.  These frequent professional development sessions allowed teachers to assess their approach as the semester progressed and address challenges they encountered in the classroom.  ETM also offered specialized workshops to ensemble instructors and teachers working with special needs populations.

This training structure has strengthened the sense of community among music teachers and staff.  Many teachers found that their discourse with colleagues was one of the most valuable elements to training. One wrote, “I love that I am a part of a network of other music teachers that I can bounce ideas off of, or share repertoire with.” ETM will hold full-day workshops in November, January and March to reinforce ETM benchmarks and training.

In addition to offering professional development sessions, ETM has increased the amount of one-on-one guidance and mentoring by bringing a second Field Supervisor on staff.  This expansion of the ETM support staff has improved ETM’s mentoring system, and teachers have been thrilled with the increased involvement. One teacher shared, “My field supervisor has been there 110%. Every time we speak she is always encouraging and positive, providing me with exactly what I need to stay motivated.”

ETM’s new training structure has provided music teachers with a strong foundation for the 2011-12 school year. Pauliks stated, “I am particularly excited by the enthusiasm and school pride of our teachers this year. It is only October, and our teachers are already showing tremendous ownership of their programs!  Our teachers are developing really creative lessons that are igniting kids’ imaginations and engaging them in a rigorous music curriculum.”

This year, nine of ETM’s partner schools have a music teacher on staff. Partner schools hiring music teachers advances our long term goal for schools to incorporate music instruction into their budgets. These school-employed music teachers are invited to all of ETM’s training and also have access to ETM’s mentoring and resources.