This is the first of a series of posts about special area teachers, whose subjects include music, art and physical education.
Teachers of elementary school “specials” —music, art, and physical education— deserve great respect. Many people don’t know the requirements to be a special area teacher, the work that goes into their professional degrees, or the fascinating extracurricular activities of the teachers themselves.
Special area teachers…
… Perform at Carnegie Hall
… Exhibit (and sell) their work in art galleries
… Compete in triathlons and other prestigious athletic events
… Play in rock bands, jazz bands—all kinds of bands
… Tour Europe with professional music ensembles and acting troupes
… Deserve our respect!
Before I was a full-time teacher, I was a substitute teacher. When I covered for special area teachers, I was humbled by their curriculum and the challenge of delivering quality lessons to very young students.
I was also struck by how some classroom teachers treated special area teachers with less than professional courtesy.
As a classroom teacher, you have the power to help your students get more out of every special class by teaching them about the talents of special area teachers:
– Get to know your special area teachers. Find out what led them to become a music/art/physical education teacher. You might learn about a childhood spent learning multiple musical instruments, a stint in the minor leagues, or a career in art that led to a desire to teach.
– Communicate this knowledge to your students. Encourage them to both compliment their special area teacher and learn more from them.
– Communicate this knowledge to other teachers. You may find that they didn’t know the accomplishments of the special area teachers.
Congratulations, you have made your school a better place!