PROGRAM — Public School

I knew when I was nine years old that I wanted to be a music teacher. The best part of my week was when the music teacher came to our classroom for our music lesson. I watched what she did carefully; even from my childish viewpoint, I could see that she was enjoying her job and that the other kids were loving the music lessons as well. Who wouldn’t want to be the most popular teacher on campus with the most fun job? I write that tongue in cheek, but seriously, my happiest moments are sharing the joy of music with kids.

I hope my students can see that I love my job, and I hope that my teaching brings them joy as my elementary music teacher brought me joy all those decades ago. I’ve been a music educator for about 30 years, and I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world!

As an itinerant (traveling) teacher, I work at two sites. They have the same physical layout and are only two miles apart, but they are two completely different and wonderful communities. I smile to myself when I get to check which site I will be going to. I ask myself a few questions in excitement. What day of the week is it? Where am I supposed to be? I love the task of assimilating into those two different communities: working with two sets of administration, two different secretaries, two sets of teachers, and support staff. I see my job as part teacher, part friend, and part public relations expert. I try to be a positive influence at both sites, and I enjoy that challenge.

“Forcing children to attend school based on their ZIP codes is inherently unfair and serves to keep lower-income kids from reaching their full potential.”

We are hearing a lot these days about equity. Who isn’t for equity, especially in education? If we truly are, let’s put our money where our proverbial mouths are. Forcing children to attend school based on their ZIP codes is inherently unfair and serves to keep lower-income kids from reaching their full potential.

Inner-city schools produce notoriously low educational outcomes. This begs the question: Whose best interests are served when poor kids are kept down? Is it so that their families must rely on government programs, which hopefully garner votes for a certain political party? This is puzzling, to say the least. If we truly want equity in education, it’s a no-brainer that parents should choose the best opportunities for their children without political shenanigans tripping them up at every turn.

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