Jedi Music

A Resource for the Beginning Elementary Music Teacher


$ave a Few Buck$

Teachers spend a lot of money out of pocket on classroom supplies. This upcoming school year, with many budgets slashed, we will probably be spending more, or perhaps trying to do without, or with less.  Being the bargain hunter that I am, I like to scout around to find the best deals.

Many retailers offer a special teacher appreciation day, or even a year round teacher discount.  Just remember to bring your educator ID.  Here are some of the discounts and offers I've taken advantage of:


Bad Idea: Unprofessional Online Behavior

Late last winter, I read online about Natalie Munroe, a Philadelphia area teacher who blogged quite negatively about her school district and students and was subsequently asked to leave her job.  At the time, I thought that her behavior was thoughtless and very unprofessional, and that she was yet another public story portraying the teaching profession in a bad light.

This week, she is back in the news, and it sounds like she will be back in the classroom for the new school year. She also has resumed blogging, and I find her writing to be very self-absorbed, self-rightous, and neither interesting nor entertaining.


Asking Your Own Questions at the Interview

Oh, yeah, that is a picture of your brain on overload as you prepare for an interview!  There is so much to cram into your mind and we just PRAY that it all comes out coherently...interviews are truly a challenge. The education field right now in this tough economy is rougher than ever to land a job in...and that simple fact only adds more pressure to the interview situation!

So, usually at the end of the interview, the team will ask the candidate if they have any questions to ask.  This might be a time when you draw a blank or perhaps let your guard down because the end of the interview is near.  Maybe the only question floating around in your head is "When do I start??!! I've got student loans to pay, you know!!!" It is good to prepare some questions ahead of time so that you are thoughtfully prepared for this portion of the interview.


Girl FIGHT!!

No, I don’t mean the students in this case.  I’m talking about your colleagues!! Especially at the elementary level, the majority of your co-workers will be women.  And I’m sure that you haven’t survived your own secondary and post-secondary education without realizing that way that women can be. The reasons could be jealousy or threat of competition, but some women are just notorious backstabbers. 


“…and the award goes to…”

After the performances wrap up for the year, it will be time to turn your attention to awarding the students for their efforts.  In the case of students graduating from the school, often the banquet committee will approach the teacher for recognition awards to be given at a celebration banquet. Here is how I recognize and reward my student's after the performances are complete:



What are your thoughts and experiences about inclusive education?

Inclusion is a part of my work each day.  Language support, autistic support, and life skills support are all included with their typically developing peers in my schools.  This is a valuable part of their day, as in their post-graduate future, they will be spending most of their time in the mainstream.  It gives them good practice with the typical population, while enjoying a subject that they enjoy: music. 


"What's Gonna Work?" TEAMWORK!!*

*Gold star and a high-five to the first commenter who knows where that title comes from!  And apologies to everyone who now has that song stuck in their head for the next few hours...

What are your thoughts and experiences about teamwork among educators?

Teamwork is essential to the educational process.  If we are not displaying the willingness to work as a team with our fellow educators, how can we foster the ability in our students?  We must demonstrate that teamwork is an important skill for our student’s future.  Teamwork is one of many areas that we must model the behavior we want to see in our students.


More on Collaboration

What has your experience been with collaboration and what are your thoughts about your experiences?

I am a certified Elementary Education (K-6) and Music (K-12) teacher.  My current teaching assignment is vocal and general music for grades K-6 with life skills and language support inclusion.  I enjoy collaboration with my colleagues, and find it to be essential in keeping my teaching relevant to the curriculum in other core areas.  By collaborating with my colleagues, I can support the mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies curriculum through music. 



Recently I was asked a series of thought-provoking questions by a colleague/friend who is working on her master's program. These are worth sharing with new teachers because quite a few of them make very nice interview questions, and we all know how important it is to be on top of your game in the teaching job interview! By no means are my answers extensive, they are just a jumping off point into discussion, I hope!


Spotlight on Music: Ways to Promote Your Music Program

Music is designed to be enjoyed by an audience and to be shared with others.  We need to promote our music programs in the school and community, because they could be overlooked in the everyday shuffle of school life.  There is a lot of time for promoting music outside of the one or two concerts you might perform in a school year!