Hello fellow music educators here in District 12!
Your efforts in every aspect of continuing music education for your students has NOT gone un-noticed! Like you, I’m trying to navigate my way through all of this with my own classes, as well as keeping an ever constant eye on the future and what the upcoming school year is going to look like.
Unfortunately, I have no answers, and it feels like we are all stumbling around in the dark looking for a light switch. I tend to view things with an optimistic, yet realistic approach.
My optimistic view on our situations says that we will be in better shape this fall than we think and we should have our Plan “A” in place: concerts, events, schedules, programming, recruitment, curriculum, etc.
My realistic view says that education is going to have a different “look” this fall for every single teacher and school across the region, state, and country: if we are not prepared to adapt quickly, we will be behind the 8 ball for the forseeable future.
What can be done now? There is no concrete playbook for this. My recommendations, however, are the following:
- Start to have conversations with your building administrators and district administrators. Make sure you are involved in the discussion about what education will look like in your building.
- Let me know what you hear – good or bad – from those conversations. Both George Weaver (our advocacy chair) and I are constantly monitoring information coming from the state. The more information we have, the more we can communicate on your behalf.
- Don’t react instantaneously to everything education related you see on social media. As much as we are all fumbling around in the dark for the light switch…so is everyone else. Just this past week alone I saw opposing articles on how fast (or not) playing wind instruments spreads (or doesn’t spread) airborne particles.Flexibility and adaptability will be the key to getting out of this situation on strong footing. Stay safe, wash your hands….and remember the reasons that you got into the profession of education in to begin with.
-Justin McAdams, PMEA District 12 President