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Rob Westerberg

June 3, 2021

Off the grid

Thoughtful, meaningful, figuring it out, asking questions, listening to students, high standards. When it comes to teaching all of these represent Rob Westerberg. He acts in a very serious way and approaches most actions with a humorous twist. Recently he posted a piece called “Off the Grid” on his blog “Goober Music Teachers”. He describes what he’s learned during the pandemic, how he’s embraced the situation and a caution on the importance of not comparing what you do as a teacher with what the next teacher is doing. I’m certain that this year has revealed much to us individually. My greatest hope is that the shifts we’ve been forced to make and have chosen to make have been an opportunity to learn about ourselves, like no other time in our teaching careers. No matter if your career is at the beginning, middle or end there is something for everyone to ponder in Rob’s pandemic story. I’m always grateful when Rob takes on a subject and blogs about it. His posts give me a chance to pause and reflect. The next two paragraphs are the first two paragraphs of his post. You’ll find the link to Rob’s blog post at the end so you can continue reading.

IN ROB’S OWN WORDS…

Would you believe me if I told you this has been one of the most satisfying, rewarding and happy years of my career? The phrase, “going off the grid” is a spot on reflection of what every music teacher in the country has gone through the past 14 months. Nothing has been “normal”, and a lot has been taken from us and our students since March of last year. How that has individually impacted us is dependent on many factors including whether we’ve been allowed to be in person or not, what grade level we teach, general choral or instrumental, single teacher in a school district or one of many. In any given year prior to this one, each music teacher’s journey is incredibly unique. That’s never been more true than this one.

But a funny thing happened to me right around the middle of November, and it carried through to this very week: my kids and I were learning and growing, and realizing that we were learning and growing. We started enjoying this journey together.

Rob is the 2020 Maine York County Teacher of the Year. He is co-creator of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) turned Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and presently MAEPL, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership, with the revised mission to develop and promote high quality arts education for all.” 

I invite you to read Rob’s FULL POST – Off the Grid, May 15, 2021. Rob can be reached at THIS LINK.

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