Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Josh BosseMarch 8, 2016
MALI Teacher Leader series
This is the first blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5 Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 60 posted to date.
Joshua Bosse currently teaches music, grades K-12 at the Madawaska School Department (MSD). He graduated from the University of Maine, Orono in 2011, and has been teaching at MSD since. Josh teaches almost 500 students throughout the week and am responsible in teaching them general music (EC-8), band (elementary, middle & high school), marching and pep band (7-12), guitar ensemble, and chorus (elementary). His true passion, however, lies with the high school band, because to hear the students express their feelings through music is truly amazing! “I get so excited when we learn a new piece, then as we work on it, I can see the growth and beauty coming from the students, and to have a concert at the end of the semester to show the audience how much we have grown and developed as musicians; it’s what I live for!
What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts educator?
1) Passion, 2) Communication, and 3) Drive. The reason that you need passion is because if you are not passionate about what you teach, how can you instill passion into the heart and souls of these students who you are molding to become well rounded adults. Communication with other arts educators has been a saving grace for me this year! Getting different ideas, getting help with understanding of certain topics, and much more has helped me so much this year. Drive is also a must, because there are those days where it seems that everything you do is either not heard or respected, and some days you are completely stressed out! Most, if not all, of us have had those days, but what gets us through it is our passion for the arts and communication with other arts teachers in order to “vent” out frustrations and get different ideas to use for our classrooms. Having both passion and communication, definitely drives me to be a better educator.
How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?
Since joining MALI, I have been able to come up with my standards which I have also been able to implement in my high school band class. Since I have started using my standards, I have been more focused on the growth aspect of each student rather than the “final product.” I have also been having students keep track of their learning, and I know that they are seeing a growth in their musicality, which in turn helps for a better “end product.”
What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?
I have become a bigger advocate for the arts, by leading workshops, connecting with other arts teachers, and much more.
What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?
The biggest thing that gets in my way of teaching is having all the laws/rules and all the paperwork that we have to fill out in order to make sure that we are “effective” teachers. I feel as though there is so much happening outside the classroom, that it actually effects the inside of our classroom. I also feel that time is a huge factor in becoming a better teacher. Sometimes there is just not enough time to get to the things that you want to, which may change the outcome of a certain product.
What are you most proud of in your career?
The thing that I am most proud of and worked hard at in my career would have to be being part of MALI. The reason that I say this is because I have become a better music educator and a better advocate for the arts. Looking at myself in regards to these two things, I am seeing growth in myself and in my students. They are actually learning the material that I am presenting to them, and in turn, it makes me feel more accomplished as an educator, because I know that they are receiving a wonderful music education.
Look into your crystal: What advice would you give to teachers?
The best advice that I can give to other teachers would be to COMMUNICATE!!! You don’t know how many times I have had to talk to other teachers and/or professionals who actually “get” what I am going through. The good, the bad and the ugly are great things to share with fellow colleagues. I don’t know where I would be without the communication aspect of my job!
If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?
If I was given $500,000, the first thing I would do is pay off mine and my wife’s student loans and other bills. They have been such a hassle to deal with since starting my “real life” in the “real world.” My life would be much simpler without them, and that way, I can actually save up and do the things that I want. With a quarter of the money gone, I would definitely donate to my church, purchase some new(er) instruments and fix some of our other instruments for my school, take a nice vacation to Europe with my lovely wife, and actually start a family without financial worries. Whatever I have left, I would save up and continue working to the point of retirement.
Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?
I do what I love on a daily basis, and not everyone can say that. Looking over my short (but sweet) career, there is nothing that I regret doing. I look forward to being able to continue instilling my love of music into the children that I teach; there is nothing to regret about that!