Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! The start of a new school year is always a great time to set goals, reflect on past years, and look forward to the upcoming performances. However, we often get so wrapped up in the details of the uniform fittings, preparing music folders, assigning school instruments and scheduling rehearsals and performances that we forget to plan for moments of joy. When we fail to seek out opportunities for experiencing moments of joy we become overwhelmed by the details. Joy is not something which happens, you really have to work to find it! This doesn’t have to be finding ways to escape what you are doing-it is often just a mind shift. One of the best ways to find joy is through building a sense of community. When we work together with others to create something we often discover joy.
Serving as a music teacher can be an isolating profession. There are often not very many (if any) other colleagues in the building who teach the same subject. This sense of isolation combined with long hours and managing large class loads leads to burn-out. Why not be more proactive this year in finding joy and community by volunteering at an IBA event? I promise, you’ll be glad you did!
I remember my first years of teaching taking the initiative to get involved in chaperoning the All-State Band weekend even though I didn’t have any students selected for the band. It was one of the most impactful decisions I have made in my career. It was like free professional development all crammed into one amazing weekend in March. I was able to spend hours talking with other directors, many of whom I considered to be leaders in our profession, listening to outstanding conductors rehearsing the finest high school musicians in the state, not to mention the free food and board! Be as involved as you can be and enjoy your fellow colleagues. If you are interested in being more active in IBA, please feel free to reach out to me or one of the board members for more information.
Let me begin by thanking David Cole for the great job that he did as IBA president over these past few years. I can’t think of a better person to model the qualities of teamwork, high standards, and kindness than David. I would also like to welcome several new board members to the leadership team of IBA. Let’s start with the elephant in the room...did you notice that my wife, Candi, is the vice-president? No, this isn’t some act of nepotism, just a reflection of her hard work and dedication to our profession. She will be joined by Todd Lehman, the new Area 2 JH/MS Representative, Adam Miller, Area 3 HS Representative, and Nathaniel Simpson, assuming the vacated role of Area 3 JH/MS Representative
I hope that each of you have had a great start to your school year. Enjoy your students, the music, and finding joy this year.