By Kristin Clark Taylor
“School’s …. Out … for … SUMMER!”
This unforgettable, end-of-the-school-year anthem song for “children” of all ages makes everybody smile just thinking about the lazy, hazy days before us.
If you’re a teacher (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), these four magical words might also stir up a desire to reflect back on this extraordinary school year and ask yourself some essential questions:
Was I present and emotionally available for my students during this challenging year?
Did I utilize the tools at my disposal to educate, comfort, and support my kids?
Did the mandated virtual learning environment limit or strengthen my ability to reach and teach my students?
Which special songs and favorite lessons will my students carry with them as they slip into the sweet days of summer?
If you were fortunate enough to have had QuaverEd resources at your disposal this past year, then the answers to these questions will ring clear as a bell.
Thousands of teachers across the USA and in every corner of the globe relied heavily on the innovative, cloud-based music curriculum this past year to reach, teach, inspire, uplift, and comfort their students. During the difficult days of the pandemic, QuaverEd created a bridge to learning.
Jim Meske, a K-5 general music teacher and District 83 Music Coordinator at Westdale Elementary School in Northlake, Illinois, says he relied heavily on QuaverEd during this past year and that even in the midst of crisis, he was able to expand his skills and create positive growth in his students.
“Virtual teaching could have been a huge challenge but was made much easier with the Quaver curriculum,” he says.
Meske says the rich content of the curriculum and the technical sophistication (and simplicity) of QuaverEd resources made all the difference. He points to the recorder as the perfect example.
“Teaching recorder was a skill I was very hesitant to teach this year since I would not be able to have the students in my classroom to help them learn the instrument,” but Meske says it turned out to be a joyous musical journey and growth experience nonetheless, thanks to QuaverEd.
“We used the ‘Recorder Olympics,’ as a warm-up [before] each class and we practiced note-reading while enjoying the backing tracks at various speeds,” Meske says appreciatively. “The animated recorder scores are what ensured student success.”
QuaverEd Creates a Collaborative Spirit
Meske says the presence of QuaverEd also heightened a healthy spirit of collaboration — collaboration that would have been impossible otherwise, given the school shut-downs and restrictions.
“One huge highlight of this year was the collaboration that occurred with the other elementary music teachers in our district,” he says with gratitude. “We were able to build a custom curriculum this year and share lessons with each other, thanks to Quaver.”
Meske paints the perfect portrait of QuaverEd as the creative bridge between teachers – in this case, teachers in different schools throughout the district. This unique ability to collaborate, he says, “saved us a lot of time as we were able to divide up grade levels and lessons since everything had to be built from scratch to meet the needs of our virtual students.”
So yes, thanks to QuaverEd, thousands of teachers can look back on their school year – and what a doozy of a school year it was! – with a grateful smile rather than a pained grimace.
QuaverEd did help ensure that teachers were present for their students. The resource did push thousands of teachers beyond their traditional comfort levels towards growth, exploration, and discovery. QuaverEd did allow teachers to be fully present for their students, even in a virtual learning environment.
Meske sums it up best:
“Even though this has been one of the most challenging years of my [23-year] career, I am thankful for how I was able to discover new resources in the Quaver curriculum that I may not have found in a typical school year.”
So as you close out this year, let those four sweet words — “School’s … out … for … SUMMER!” bring you joy and more than a little pride.
You made it through the year.
You taught, inspired, and comforted your students.
And as you slip into these lazy, hazy days of summer, remember to take deep breaths. Relax. Pat yourself on the back for rising to the occasion and surmounting challenge. And take a few of these happy summer songs from QuaverEd with you!
Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.