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My Teaching Story

Like many teachers, I was inspired to teach by another teacher!

As a kid, I loved the arts! From an early age, I was pretty certain I wanted to sing, dance and perform. I changed my trajectory a few times. In no particular order, these were my early career ambitions…

  • Ballerina
  • Singer
  • Actress
  • Writer

Something that was also apparent to those around me was my innate ability and understanding of children. As an older sister to triplets, I was surrounded by children and enjoyed their company. I still do.

When I reached high school, I met an educator that would impact my life forever – my high school band teacher. She never stopped believing in me (even on days when I didn’t believe in myself!) Eventually, I started to reflect on her life and career and thought about how wonderful it must be for her to watch her music students blossom and grow over the years. I was inspired by her but it would be a few years before I had the confidence to pursue my own path as a teacher.

Still finding my way, I enrolled at Kean University as an undecided major. Still inclined towards music, I registered for a basic fundamental music course. I also joined the wind ensemble as a flute player and began taking private lessons. During my first semester, I wound up tutoring many of the students in my class and formed friendships with some of the music majors in wind ensemble. Eventually, I asked the conductor if he thought I had a chance of passing an audition. He encouraged me to try.

I spent the next semester preparing my audition on flute and continuing my gen ed courses. By the end of the spring, I had successfully auditioned as a flute major!

Since I auditioned and declared my major a year late, I started my music education coursework as a sophomore. It took a bit longer than expected! During my second year, I was required to take a class called Class Voice I which taught vocal pedagogy to instrumentalists. Within the first class, my professor realized that I had some vocal ability already thanks to my past experiences in choir and voice lessons. The professor encouraged me to take voice lessons at the university level. She urged me to pursue a vocal major.

“Vocal major? I’m a flute major!” I tried to tell her.

We would have several conversations about this.

Eventually, my professor won by mentioning that a flute and voice major would make me a more rounded music teacher and a more marketable job prospect. I auditioned for a voice major at the end of my sophomore year.

The rest is history! I continued college as a dual major. Two juries every semester. A combined senior recital. It was a lot of work but I’m glad I did it.

After college, I started my teaching journey in a charter school. I was there for two years and I learned a LOT. I was the everything music teacher! What’s an everything music teacher? A music teacher who is hired to do everything! I taught…

  • K-6 General Music
  • Band
  • Recorder
  • Guitar

After the first two years, I made the transition into public schools. Currently, I am serving as a K-6 vocal music teacher in two different New Jersey public schools! I teach general music to roughly 600 students and also teach chorus for grades 5 and 6!

I started sharing my teaching ideas in 2018 (after about 5 years of teaching). It started small with a few of my colleagues asking for copies of handouts I had created and used with my students. About a year later, I uploaded my first resource to TPT (teachers pay teachers).

During quarantine, I found my strength – digital resources. I actually loved virtual teaching! It was really exciting to try out different tools like Nearpod and Boom Learning and incorporate them into my virtual lessons. I also loved making fancy lessons using Google Slides.

Almost 200 resources later, I am still creating and sharing my ideas. This website is merely an extension of those efforts. It has been wonderful to see my ideas help other educators and reach other students. Teaching is a journey – a continuous one. I hope you enjoyed reading my story so far. I hope to continue sharing my ups, downs, and most of all – my ideas!

-Suzanne