by Joey Nickols
WELCOME TO THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR! Where nothing is the same and we are ALL first-year teachers again!
NW District calendar: https://nwkmea.org/?section=calendar
School has been in full swing for many of our districts here in the northwestern portion of our great state. Though it’s not a “typical” year, what is “typical” is our desire to teach our students the passion in our lives…music. In the past few months, our students’ lives have been turned upside down and WE are the ones who are helping them plot their course in which to bring them a marginal sense of “normalcy.” Our students are resilient, but they still need that calming, yet reassuring, hand that says, “You’ve got this and, together, we’re going to make this happen.” I know that we, as educators, are still making plans that are as fluid as our schools’ reopening plans. However, I want to encourage each of you to keep putting your best foot forward (it better be that left foot, for cryin’ out loud since we’re in marching season) and continue to fight the good fight.
The great thing about our membership to NAfME/KMEA is that we have an amazing network of educators whose minds find ways to make music happen in exceptionally creative means. Reach out to your colleagues, especially if you are coming against that dreaded mental block of how to make a connection of a concept. I have faith they will, gladly, help you along. Check on your colleagues. Just a friendly email, text, or phone call can make a world of difference and build that comradery to help strengthen our musical network. Encourage your colleagues that what they are doing is worthwhile or help them see that what they are doing can benefit their students in the long term.
You need to know that you’re not in this race alone. We are here to lift each other up and finish the race that is set before each of us. All of our races are different and we will all have to run different courses. However, the ending goal is the same… providing our students the best possible music education in ways in which we are able to deliver it to them. I wish you the best of luck and remember…we’ve got this and we’re here for each other.
Now, on to some NW district news. The high school district choir auditions will be moved to the Festival Scores platform. Like most districts, we are utilizing this platform to make our auditions as seamless as possible to give our students the opportunity to represent their school, and our district, in the choir(s). Additionally, I would suggest that all NW district members check the calendar periodically to help yourselves stay afloat on due dates and happenings. Please see the following link for our calendar: https://nwkmea.org/?section=calendar
Good luck in the upcoming school year and remember the following quote by Henry Kissinger. (He was ahead of his time and it rings true for us today.) “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.” Our year is that chunk of coal, but the pressure we are experiencing is helping us create diamonds in our departments.