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Music Teacher Co-Authors Book on Innovative Instruction
“When we think differently about the things that we are used to seeing daily, we can create innovative learning opportunities.” –George Couros, “The Innovator’s Mindset”
Inspired by the author and book where she read that quote, Meadowbrook music teacher Kathryn Finch started on a journey in 2017 that helped her grow as a music teacher, meet hundreds of other professionals through social media, and co-author a book she hopes offers her own version of teaching inspiration.
“Pass the Baton: Empowering All Music Students” by Kathryn Finch and Theresa Hoover was released by Amazon on Nov. 1. It represents the culmination of innovation and instructional philosophy that she has developed through her 22 years of teaching.
“‘The Innovator’s Mindset’ had me fascinated and convinced me to start blogging,” Mrs. Finch said. She met another music teacher who shared her philosophy through social media groups. “We read each other's blogs and started to talk daily. At first, we joked about writing a book, and then as time passed we realized we needed to write this book.”
With this year being a challenge for every educator, a little inspiration can go a long way. Mrs. Finch teaches all of her students remotely in order to fit in the daily schedule of a school where 70 percent of the students are in person and the other 30 percent are learning remotely.
“Remote teaching has forever changed my teaching,” she said. “This year I gave myself one goal. During a pandemic and in a remote learning setting, how can I allow my student's voice and choice, give them opportunities to create, ask questions and find answers, and connect them with peers and experts outside of the classroom? In other words, how can I empower them to own their learning in this remote setting?”
The answers can probably be found in the pages of “Pass the Baton.” Mrs. Finch said. “Theresa and I want to continue the conversation among music teachers on what empowerment can look like in a music classroom. We believe there are common qualities in an empowered music student and we know many educators paving the way and innovating in all music settings. In the book, we discuss those qualities in detail and showcase many innovative educators.”