Now is as good a time as ever to quote Yogi Berra. A few of my friends have expressed these very sentiments to me, albeit without quoting Yogi. Even though Yogi was a baseball player, this one hits really close to home for us. I hope we will all adopt his wit as we enter the new school year with Covid-19 front and center and posted on the 50-yard line.
“All over again.” How can that bring hope to a new school year? As someone in the twilight of my teaching career I am more hopeful than I have ever been. There is hope for us as a profession and as band directors. Life’s experience has already shown us the answer to our current position.
For everyone that’s a baby boomer, or almost, we loved our record players. I still love everything about LP’s, 45’s, record covers and great times with friends. But then came 8-tracks, cassettes, Walkman, CD’s and finally digital downloads. The platform I grew up with was gone. A very distant memory. But music didn’t go away; the sounds, feelings, energy, emotional response that music brings didn’t go away. Only the platform changed. Teaching is now experiencing a similar change.
It’s only our platform that will change as teachers. After music went through all of its changes it actually became more accessible, more integrated and more important to everyday life than before. Society doesn’t know it, but teachers just became more accessible, more integrated and more important to a child’s life than ever before.
My big take away from last semester is not the difficulties that occurred after having to jettison all my plans. What I remember is the reaction I got when I simply met my kids online and kept teaching music. A smile. Every time, I got a huge smile. So my thoughts this year have nothing to do with how much extra work I have to do to change platforms. That’s just planning. I will manage my classroom, whether online or in class, so that kids can simply have a chance to experience music with a smile. I’m looking forward to having a year of many smiles, “All over again!”
May we all have a year of many smiles.
Steve Giovanoni is a graduate of UNT. He has taught at both large and small schools in Texas for 23 years and is currently in his 12th year at Randolph ISD. He has provided clinics for Midwest, TMEA. TBA and TI:ME conventions.
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