From the President

ELEM/GEN: Developing Successful Habits

Developing Successful Habits

A few years ago, my school adopted the Seven Habits of Happy Kids as part of the counseling program. Every teacher in the school received a copy of the book by Sean Covey and was encouraged to incorporate the principles into the classroom. The seven habits are: 1. Be Proactive, 2. Begin with the End in Mind, 3. Put first Things First, 4. Think Win-Win, 5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, 6. Synergize, 7. Sharpen the Saw. Students and teachers were trained on using these strategies in the classroom. We put them into action through our house system (based on the Ron Clark Academy) and through our Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies plan (P.B.I.S.). Students started taking ownership of their behavior and managing their time and tasks in a more efficient way than ever. Behavior referrals dropped as teachers practiced the win-win techniques in the classroom, showing students how being disruptive was a lose-lose for everyone involved. Of course, for many of us, these techniques started to bleed over into our personal lives as well.

In our last Ala Breve, I talked about dreaming big and setting goals. This would be a part of habits two and three. In this issue, I want to mention Sharpening the Saw, which is habit seven. To sharpen the saw, you set aside time for yourself and you do the things that bring you the greatest enjoyment. Take time to enhance your physical health, your cognitive or mental health, your spirituality and your social health. Stephen Covey details each of these in his book for adults, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but let’s focus on mental health and social health. What do you do to expand your mind? Do you like to read books and articles about teaching? Do you like participating in a hands-on training? Do you like to hang out with your music colleagues and enjoy enriching conversations about work and life over a good meal? Your elementary AMEA is offering a great workshop on October 19 and a yearly in-service in January for you to sharpen your saw.

The fall workshop on October 19th will be held at Eastmont Baptist Church in Montgomery and will feature two fabulous clinicians, Dr. Madeline Bridges from Belmont University and Dr. Becky Halliday from The University of Montevallo. Dr. Bridges will present the morning session which is entitled “Developing Core Singing Skills through Multiple Modalities.” Dr. Halliday will present the afternoon session on arts integration “Weaving a Tapestry: Collaborative Teaching Through Arts Integration.” In between, we are offering a catered “meat and 3” lunch that you can purchase when you register. This will allow you the time to sharpen your saw as you socialize with your fellow music educators. Please take the time today to renew your NaFME membership and register for the AMEA Professional development Conference. Visit www.myamea.org for more conference details. We would love to see you at both of these events.

Thank you again, for your hard work, dedication and continued support of the Elementary/General Division of the AMEA and the children of Alabama.

See you in October,
Betty R Wilson, President Elementary/General Division

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Workshops and Other Professional Development Opportunities:

East Alabama Music Workshop
Grace United Methodist Church, Auburn Tiffany English
August 24, 2019
Contact: lydarob@me.com

AMEA Choir Festival:
Friday, October 18, 2019
Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery Contact Melissa McIntyre, Festival Director Ameafestival@gmail.com

Fall AMEA Workshop:
Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Clinicians: Dr. Madeline Bridges and Dr. Becky Halliday Location: Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery Contact: elementaryamea@gmail.com

AMEA Professional Development Conference
Jan 16-18, 2020
Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa Featured Clinician: Jim Solomon. Details will be available soon at www.myamea.org