Music education can create communities within school districts. This is an invaluable fact we should all embrace. But it begins with communities of music teachers working together. Teaching cohorts provide the professional support needed to identify and share best practices while empowering music educators with a feeling of community and security. It’s within these cohorts that teachers can identify needs, address budgeting concerns and band together for change creating an overall more positive experience. Our community provides inspirations for the individual music teacher to defend, advocate and secure their position, all of the information is exponentially more powerful when executed as a group.
Some school districts , including New York City Public Schools (the largest school district in the United States), groups all music educators together for meetings and professional development. Sadly, the majority of other smaller school districts group music educators with all other teachers. While there is merit for all teachers to know what is going on throughout their entire school, having a music teacher attend multiple “Mathematics for the Smart Board” trainings (as I had been required to attend as a music teacher for two years) is not remotely beneficial. It signals to music educators that they are not as worthy of professional attention as other generalists.
What are your experiences with Teacher Cohorts?