Are you a member of the QuaverMusic Teachers Facebook group? Did you know it was started by two Oklahoma music teachers, Caitlin Moore and Cristy Gosset? Today, Quaver’s Kristin Clark Taylor interviews this dynamic duo to find out how the group started and how it became “a family of thousands” for many Quaver teachers today!
An extraordinary on-line “family of thousands”
by Kristin Clark Taylor
It started as a simple question, then it spread like wildfire and burned its way into the hearts of thousands.
“Do you have an on-line community?”
That’s the question Caitlin Moore and Cristy Gosset, both elementary school general music teachers from the Putnam City School District in Oklahoma, asked the QuaverEd staff during a tour of the company’s Nashville headquarters back in 2015.
It was the question that sparked the first flame.
“I was already using Quaver in my classroom, so I already knew what an amazing resource it was,” says Caitlin Moore, who’s been teaching general music at Central Elementary School for eight years.
“I also knew that the people at Quaver worked really hard at reaching out to teachers everywhere to get their feedback and listen to their ideas. The QuaverMusic blog is a great source of information, so there was already an open line of communication, but I really thought that having an on-line community forum for Quaver teachers would be perfect!”
Both Moore and Gosset say the Quaver staff embraced the idea warmly and immediately, offering their enthusiastic support, but with one caveat: that this on-line community be teacher-led and teacher-focused, to ensure a space where teachers can discuss all things Quaver openly and freely – and not just the good things but the not-so-good things that could stand improvement.
This is the first spark, then, that ignited the QuaverMusic Teachers Facebook group that’s so extremely popular with Quaver teachers.
“The people at Quaver stepped right in to help, but they were also willing to give us the space we needed to just communicate between ourselves, as teachers. Having a platform where we can come together to compare how we use Quaver in our own classrooms has made all the difference in the world. We compare notes, ask questions, talk about what works and what doesn’t work,” says Moore.
“But what’s also great is that the Quaver staff plays a really important role. They’re constantly weighing in with suggestions and guidance, pointing us in the right direction for specific resources and trouble-shooting if something comes up that only they can address,” says Moore.
Because the Quaver staff monitors the Facebook group closely and they make it their business to stay in close contact with the teachers, they often hear about bugs and issues with the Quaver website — and they are able to address these issues immediately and with great precision.
Caitlin Moore poses with her all-time favorite friend, Perry the Sheep.
“I guess the easiest way to describe it is to say this: They listen. You can tell they listen because lots of times we see our input and suggestions reflected in the lessons they create. The Quaver staff is great; by inviting us to their offices, seeking our input, training us on their resources and providing a really great curriculum, it makes us feel like we really matter.”
“Now we have a place where we can all be heard.”
When Cristy Gosset speaks these words, you can almost feel the thousands of other Quaver teachers across the nation nodding their heads in agreement.
Why? Because this extraordinary on-line family of teachers (“More than 4,000 of us, last time I checked!” says Gosset proudly) has created a space where shared experiences and common goals are the top priority.
Gosset, a general music teacher at Western Oak Elementary in Oklahoma who co-founded the site with Moore, sings her songs of praise in a voice that’s loud and clear.
“When our district adopted the Quaver curriculum about seven years ago, many of our teachers were already pretty well-versed in technology but we still had some issues, so we’d pow-wow with each other pretty regularly to try to figure things out. Quaver uses technology very well, which meant we had to make sure we understood and appreciated everything they were offering.”
In Cristy’s classroom, her love of music shines through loud and clear.
Gosset, who also serves as a liaison for elementary music teachers with the district and serves as the Putnam City elementary music chair, says she realized very quickly how useful it would be to create a community where other Quaver teachers could share tips and developments as they were unfolding in the classroom — almost in real-time – and says she has seen, with her own eyes, how this kind of information-sharing has facilitated tremendous learning and growth over the years.
“When a new Quaver teacher comes in,” she says, “They’ll often ask some of the same questions we asked when we first started. The teachers who are able to answer these questions and share their experiences are the ones who were asking those very same questions years ago,” Gosset says.
“What’s really nice is to welcome these new teachers and hear from them, too. It’s a very dynamic process. Everyone is sharing information, which really makes it work.”
Just one of the many posts on the QuaverMusic Teachers Facebook group!
Keep Fanning those Flames!
Moore finds power in positivity.
“I belong to lots of music teacher groups,” she says. “And sometimes groups – any kind of group — can become a little divisive, as we all know.”
“But our QuaverMusic teacher Facebook page is one of the most positive on-line communities I know. We’re always building each other up.”
And while 4,000 family members is certainly an impressive number, the folks at Quaver have even bigger flames to fan: Their ultimate goal is to reach 10,000 teachers in the Quaver Facebook community!
So to Caitlin Moore and Cristy Gosset, a super-loud shout-out:
Thank you for creating this fine, fine forum for Quaver teachers!
Thank you for igniting that very first spark!
Yes, it’s still spreading like wildfire.
And this is one flame we do not want to tame.
Cristy plays it cool with some of her students.
Kristin Clark Taylor is an award-winning author, journalist, editor, and former White House communications strategist.
Want to join this dynamic group of QuaverMusic Teachers? Join the conversation on our QuaverMusic Teachers Facebook group!