I often have the honour of working with teachers on a 1-to-1 basis, doing professional development starting with the learner, as opposed to the teacher. I love it only because of the immediate effectiveness I feel it has on the teacher you work with. It also gives me a chance to build some powerful relationships with our staff, while also learning a great deal from them.
One of the people that I have the opportunity to work with Simone Bauer. As a music teacher in Parkland School Division, I have seen her put on amazing concerts with our students, and love it as I have always a strong love for music. What I love about Simone is that she is continuously looking for new ways to engage her students in ways that are relevant to them in music. She is always pushing the boundaries.
In a recent 184 post, I was blown away by what she shared. Using Noteflight (I had never heard of this software until Simone brought it up), she learned how to create musical compositions and post them online. Here is the sample:
Although it is obvious Simone is great with music, she used her talent and found software that helps meet kids where they are, while also being able to share with a mass audience. Her biography in the post is awesome:
Simone Bauer with a Master of Arts in piano performance, B Ed in music teaching, is an innovative music specialist at Blueberry School. She finds great fulfillment in developing aspiring musicians in choral work and instrumentation, as she seeks out new program applications to combine “hands on musicality” with technology. Her former students have gone on to become leaders in the high school musical programs in Parkland, as well as acceptance into professional musical groups in Alberta.
What if all educators saw themselves as “innovators” as Simone does? That thinking is so powerful in teaching and learning.
Now it is pretty impressive that Simone is figuring these things out herself, but the real power is when she transfers that learning to her students. As Simone learned it, she now is giving her students the opportunity to create and share their work with a large audience. This is one of the compositions that one of her students created.
Pretty powerful learning.
I am honoured to work in a division where we have so many teachers who see themselves as innovators, and create learning opportunities for themselves to enhance the learning opportunities for their students. Students will need to continuously change and adapt to keep up in a world that always changes. By having teachers model these skills, we are on a great path.