What do you do?
Where do you work and what is your title?
West Elementary. My title is elementary instrumental music instructor.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
I am responsible for teaching instrumental music to all students in the fourth and fifth grades. Each has a choice of playing in the band class (instruments: flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, trombone, or percussion), the orchestra class (instruments: violin, viola, cello, or bass) or the guitar class.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
I am in my 30th year of teaching instrumental music, my 22nd year in District 11. I am in my fourth year of being assigned to the Westside – three years at Washington Elementary and now my first year at West Elementary. Previously, I had taught at West Middle School from 1991 to 1996 (band and orchestra).
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
The thing I like best about teaching here at West Elementary (and before that at Washington) is the opportunity to teach EVERY fourth- and fifth-grade student.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
If I could change one thing about my teaching situation I would have a schedule allowing me to work with my classes every day. My students could excel more with daily instruction. It would be amazing to see and hear the things they could accomplish!
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
As a professional educator, I was never trained or taught how to deal with the myriad of student behaviors you experience on a daily basis. Building and nurturing relationships take time. This is the best way to prevent bad behaviors and create a positive climate in my classrooms.
What makes working on the Westside special?
The best thing about it is the sense of community. This is the only part of Colorado Springs that has this family feel. The first home my wife and I owned was on 17th Street. People over here are just more friendly.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.