School & School System Where You Work
Haw River Christian Academy, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Number of Years Teaching
Chorus, Elementary, Collegiate
Elementary, Middle School, Collegiate
What do you love most about teaching music?
That I get to help students connect more with their humanity through Music. The daily challenges and wins also inspire me to be a better person.
Who inspired you to be a music educator and how did they inspire you?
There were many influences, but I can point to my high school choir teacher Tom Gustin, as well as my collegiate choir director, Dr. Ed Pierce, and two professors at the University of Oklahoma: Dr. Michael Raiber and Dr. Charlene Dell.
What did you need the most when you started teaching?
Reassurance that the exhaustion and overwhelm I was feeling was normal and it would get better!
Describe the biggest challenge to teaching music education and how you have worked to overcome this challenge?
My biggest challenge has been small financial resources, and I have navigated it through leaning on my community around me and being creative in the activities I engage in.
How do you advocate for your program?
I teach in a private Christian school, so my biggest program recruiting events are the Christmas program and the spring concert. I often introduce songs to give the audience an idea of what was taught through them.
What is one piece of advice you would give to beginning teachers?
Ask lots of questions and create a community with your non-music colleagues! They are there to support you, and you all are professionals serving your students. It’s not about ego. Also…it does get better.
How do you build relationships with students and parents?
I talk to parents at drop-off if possible, and I make sure to be a presence at all back-to-school and open house events.