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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Linda McVety

April 8, 2014

 MSAD#61 Lake Region School District Music Educator

This is the fifth blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others.

IMG_3477Linda McVety is the K-5 general music and grade 3 literacy intervention teacher at MSAD #61, Laken Regiona School District. She has been teaching for 34 years and 25 in her present position at the Songo Locks Elementary in Naples. Population: 495 students.

What do you like best about being a music/art/drama/dance educator?

The best part about being an elementary music teacher is that I have the potential to reach children and give them the gift of music. When asked what I teach I always say “I teach children first.” I can have fun every day and give joy through music to children that may not have a lot of positive in their lives. I want my students to realize that they will have music throughout their lives.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

  1. Support from administration and community
  2. A teacher that believes in the importance of the arts in every child’s education
  3. A teacher who understands the way children learn and can develop his/her lessons and assessments to reach most of her students.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

  1. It helps to keep me organized and focused on the goals that I want to accomplish at each grade level
  2. Rubrics help me empower my students to take ownership of their learning

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative?

Sharing and communicating with arts colleagues has been invaluable. I have been able to see what programs are around the State of Maine and have a give/take relationship with my colleagues.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Watching students have that “aha” moment-that says “I love this music” or “I understand this music”. Showing my students my love for playing the cello.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

  1. All of the extra duties
  2. Attitudes of people who only think of the arts as a “prep” time and not as a valuable part of the educational community
  3. No enough time to plan and put valuable lessons together

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Having 3 wonderful and successful sons is my #1 accomplishment!

Students that come to school because they love music class.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

  1. Learn discipline techniques but find a way to have fun
  2. Learn and practice collaborating with classroom teachers-find the time to communicate with them
  3. Find another arts colleague to bounce off ideas with and design lessons with-don’t keep yourself in isolation
  4. Go to workshops created by other arts educators-never stop learning

 If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

 I would take a few students around the world to see music, art and dance in different cultures.

 I would buy instruments for students who could not afford them.

 Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

Sometimes I forgot to use music as my own saving grace and distressing mechanism. I don’t regret anything in raising my wonderful sons and giving them great educational opportunities, however I do regret not traveling to see more of the world.

 

 

 

 

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