University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Where do you currently teach?
Cedar Bluff Elementary School, Knoxville
How long have you been teaching?
Why do you choose to be a member of TMEA?
For me, there is no choice. TnMEA is our professional organization and as such I believe every educator should be a member. TnMEA is only as strong as it's members. By joining TnMEA, you are enabling the organization to support music education in our state in a relevant way. The only way the organization can find out the issues and needs of our educators is if we share them. By being a member of TnMEA, we actually help ourselves and the others in our state.
What do you love about teaching?
I love making music with my students. No matter how young children are, they still have a feelings! Sometimes they just don't know how to express them. Giving them an outlet for their feelings and emotions is tremendously satisfying.
If you could choose another job for one day, what would it be?
I'd love to start a joint child and senior daycare. I saw a video of something like this online and I think it would be a wonderful thing for those involved. Seniors have so much experience and caring to share and our little ones would only see benefits! I'd love to be a part of starting something along those lines.
Tell us one thing about you that people would be surprised to know or something you are passionate about besides teaching.
I've recently become very interested in the Appalachian Dulcimer. I'm not a native Tennessean, so the instrument is new to me. But, I find that I love learning about the history of the instrument and the songs of our region. There are local clubs all over Tennessee, and I encourage all of you to check one out!
Share a fun and unique idea that you use in your classroom!
When beginning a new unit, whether it is folk dancing or learning a new instrument, I always have the students create the rules and expectations for behaving or using the equipment. I find that when they create the rules, there is more "buy-in." I also have them decide on the consequences if someone breaks the class's expectations. I have found that in most cases, this eliminates behavioral issues and causes the students to be more invested in our class.