For the 2012-2013 school year ETM has adopted a new professional development (PD) format to better support our partner school’s academic teachers. Rather than aim for shallow “integration”—a popularized buzzword—for incorporating musical concepts into curricula, ETM strives to bridge classrooms and develop sustained support for music education.
“In an effort to add consistency and ‘follow-through’ for the teachers, we have shifted the schedule allowing for more frequent face time,” stated ETM’s Director of Programs Peter Pauliks. In past years, professional development workshops were held twice a year in 60 to 90 minute sessions. Program staff is now providing short, 20 to 30 minute, monthly PD sessions at all of our partner schools.
ETM also supplements PD sessions with its “Class Notes” newsletter—geared toward non-music teachers. The digital version of “Class Notes” also contains links to audio and video resources that encourage greater collaboration between music and academic teachers through use of musical strategies. Each newsletter features a topic that reinforces key skills and expectations outlined in the Common Core Learning Standards. The new professional development approach emerged from feedback provided in last year’s classroom teacher surveys and from ongoing dialogue with school principals.
The new format also allows ETM to engage in advocacy by building supporters from within the school community as Mr. Pauliks explains: “We teach music because it teaches kids to think. Learning music as a core discipline requires students to process information differently. Through musical examples and challenges, we ‘catch’ our teachers thinking and ask them to reflect on those activities and the impact they have on academic coursework.”