From the President

From the ELEM/GEN President: It Takes a Community

In the book, What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do, published by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the five core propositions which govern the process of certification are explored and explained. The core propositions are:

1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students. 3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

These propositions serve as the anchor of what National Boards consider accomplished teaching. Though many of you may not be board certified, you still may exhibit many, if not all, of these propositions. I could use my space here examining how you measure up against each of these propositions, but instead I’ll focus on proposition five, teachers are members of learning communities.

In a study about professional development, Darling-Hammond and McLaughlin (1995), found that teachers need opportunities to “share what they know, discuss what they want to learn, and connect new concepts and strategies to their own unique contexts” (p. 1). These are perfect descriptors of what professional learning communities should be. This year, your elementary board wants to ensure your voice, your experiences and your musical wants are represented in every workshop and session we plan. It is our goal that your professional learning through AMEA continues to be positive and meaningful.

Our professional learning communities begin in just a few days at the 13th Annual Elementary Music Festival at Samford University’s Wright Center on Friday, October 12th. Approximately 400 elementary students representing over 40 schools across the state have registered. The clinicians for this event will be Dr. Damian Womack and Dr. Sara Womack. This music festival is a great opportunity for our students to learn and grow. Although registration for this year’s festival has passed, please consider including your students for next year’s festival. The following day, Saturday, October 13th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. we will have our joint Fall Workshop sponsored by the AMEA Elementary/General Division, AOSA and SHAKE. This year our clinician will be Orff specialist Sara Womack. The workshop will be held at Vestavia Hills Elementary Central 1289 Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216.

The 2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference will convene at the BJCC in Birmingham. Many rich professional learning opportunities await you. This year we are honored to have Beth Ann Hepburn as our featured clinician. She will be presenting four sessions for us ranging from developing part-singing to using body percussion with songs and rhymes. We will also have several member guided sessions including bucket drumming with Viktoria Truesdail and learning new ways to put on a show by Kristi Howze. Kodaly specialist Jeremy Howard will clinic on musical make-believe while Rob Lyda will help us celebrate Alabama’s Bicentennial. Jennifer Canfield will show us how to create music for the elementary classroom, Art Williams will present on the Fred Rogers approach to teaching elementary music, and Stephanie Porter will demonstrate reading in music and recording on a budget. Our friends

from Quaver and Chord Buddy will be there and other clinics and vendors you will not want to miss. Please be sure to reserve Friday night for an evening of fellowship and music sharing fun. We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham on January 17th -19th. Be sure to check the AMEA website ( for details about preregistration and hotel information.

We hope to see you all at the Fall Music Workshop on October 13th, and at the 2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference in Birmingham in January. Please contact us at ( for questions or concerns.

Phil R. Wilson, President,
AMEA Elementary/General Division

Darling-Hammond, L., & McLaughlin, M. W. (1995). Policies that support professional development in an era of reform. Phi delta kappan, 76(8), 597-604.

Upcoming Dates:
13th Annual Elementary Music Festival, Friday, October 12th, Samford University’s Wright Center

Joint Fall Workshop sponsored by Elementary/General Division of AMEA, AOSA, and SHAKE, Saturday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

NAfME In-Service Conference, Nov 10-14, 2018, Dallas, Texas
2019 AMEA Professional Development Conference, BJCC, Birmingham, AL, January 17-19.

American Orff-Schulwerk Association, National Professional Development Conference, November 7-10, 2018, Cincinnati, Ohio

SHAKE Spring Workshop, April 6, 2019, with Dr. Michele Paynter Paise.