Demonstration of Kansas Music Teacher Standards
Entry 2) Contextual Factors Entry 3) Teaching Unit Entry 4) Learning Environment Entry 5) Evaluations Entry 6) Logs
Entry #6 : Professional Logs
Interactions with Families, Community, and Educational Personnel
September 4, 2008: Back to School Night, "Meet the Teacher"
At the back to school night, I interacted with my cooperating teacher, and parents of the students. We discussed the schedule for the school year, the format of the classroom and lessons, and the progress of the students to that point in the school year. This had a positive impact on the student's learning becaues it allowed the parents to work with the teachers and become more involved in their child's education.
September 18, 2008: Blue Valley West "Showcase"
The Showcase was a dinner barbeque with performances from all the entire performing arts department. Parents could buy tickets in advance for a meal and then each ensemble performed a few minutes of their work. This allowed the parents to support not only their students but also the students from the entire performing arts department. This benefitted the students by allowing them to see how the performing arts staff worked positively together and also how the staff and parents support all the ensembles.
I feel that I was a bit hesitant at first when interacting with parents and the community. However, the example set by my cooperating teacher allowed me to feel comfortable working and communicating with the parents. By the time we had reached the Showcase I was able ask many parents how they felt about our program, how they felt their students were progressing, and even get any suggestions on how to improve my interactions with parents and students. One goal that I would like to make for my professional growth with parents would be to take more initiative to contact the parents outside of regularly scheduled events in order to update them on their student's progress. One way I think I could achieve this goal would be to schedule every week a certain amount of parents to call for discussion. This would allow me to contact all the parents after a few weeks and also to be sure to focus my attention on the needs of all the students, not just a few.
October 23 & 24, 2008: Mize Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences
The parent teacher conferences allowed the parents and teachers to discuss the progress of the students as well as address any issues or needs for improvement. Since the music teachers do not have scheduled conferences with parents, they are available during the conferences for any walk-in parent conferences that are necessary. It also allowed the music teachers to meet, plan for future student learning, and reflect upon previous lessons.
I was unsure about the music teacher's role during parent-teacher conferences. However, after experiencing the parent-teacher conferences I found that this was important and beneficial time for the parents, community, and teachers. This continued to keep communication flowing between the parents and school staff. At the same time it gave the teachers an opportunity to pay extra attention to the specific needs of students in classes and make adjustments for future learning.
Involvement in and Contributions to School and District Improvement
Every Thursday Morning: Blue Valley West Professional Learning Communities Meetings
The PLC meetings helped improve the school by allowing the faculty to discuss future goals related to music and school standards. This also allowed the PLC to ensure consistency of content and interdisciplanary lesson throughout the entire arts department.
One Thursday Morning per month: Blue Valley West Performing Arts Department Meetings
The Performing Arts Department consists of the Orchestra, Band, Choir, Theater and Debate/Forensics divisions. The department meetings allowed the faculty to discuss events, goals and participation for each division. For example, when the "Showcase" was being planned, this department time allowed the faculty to organize ticket sales, plan the program, and market the program to the students. The meeting time also allows for discussion of unit plans and unit sharing for consistency of information across the department.
August 28, 2008 and September 16, 2008: Blue Valley West School Faculty Meetings &
Every Thursday Morning: Mize Elementary Faculty Meetings
The school-wide faculty meetings allow the faculty to connect with the administration. These meetings also provide an opportunity for faculty members from different content areas and departments to discuss any issues, goals, or needs for the entire school. Any information or events that apply to the entire student body are addressed at this meeting.
I felt comfortable with the faculty meetings however, I was unsure how to contribute to PLC meetings and department meetings at the beginning of my experience. Over time, I found that the faculty worked well together and many meetings were an open forum for discussion, so I was able to contribute my collegiate experiences to help the high school faculty improve and grow. One goal for the future would be to work more with the department chair to improve my contributions to planning and discussion.
Professional Development Experiences
September 9, 2008: Northeast KMEA District Meeting
The Northeast district meeting was designed to have all music faculty in northeast Kansas work together to plan the district and state auditions later in the semester. This meeting was designed to also allow the teachers to discuss sight-singing practices, repertoire for the year, and any other relevant material concerning all teachers in the area.
October 10, 2008: Blue Valley District Professional Day
The professional day provided seminars for faculty to improve their teaching in the classroom and interactions with other faculty in the district. For example, the choral directors first went to a seminar on improvement of sight-singing skills in the classroom. Then arts department teachers from the entire district met to discuss how to improve their department meeting times. Finally, the PLC met to discuss what they had learned at the seminars and how they could apply the new knowledge to the classroom.
From the experiences I gained knowledge on how to train the students to be comfortable with auditions, how to improve sight-singing, and how to increase communication between collegues in my department. One goal I have for the future is to find other professional communities that provide continuing education and to participate in any events which can help me improve my teaching in music. For example, at the elementary level, any Orff or Kodaly seminars or at the secondary level, any other sight-reading seminars.
October 17, 2008: Mize Elementary Professional Day
The Mize Elementary professional day contained meetings and seminars for the entire school faculty to discuss any issues and imporvement initiatives. After these meetings, the PLC groups met to improve specific areas in their departments. At Mize, each grade level met, and then the specials classes (including music) met as well. Afterwards, the teachers were given time to work on their future lessons and first quarter grades.
From this experience I was able to observe interactions between the faculty in grade levels and the specials classes. This also allowed me to understand how the specials department addressed specific issues, and allowed me to have more plan time for future lessons.
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