The validity of process over product?

Walking into York School in September I was a bit apprehensive. What was this Cohort 21 anyway? The day wound up flying by and by the end, I was a bit overwhelmed, but in a good way. I met lots of new people, had great conversations which truly resonated with me. As a music teacher, I often find PD isn’t meaningful or relevant to my practice, and sometimes, do I dare say, even feel bored sitting through it. This was finally PD that I could shape my wants and needs. How cool was that!

Having said that, I am still a bit confused and anxious about what is expected. I’m still learning to navigate the Cohort21 world that lies at my fingertips. Admittedly, I am experiencing challenges here, as I recognize that I recently replied to a survey posted a year ago to the last Cohort group…but I will learn!

I completed my “placemat” but have yet to complete all of my interviews and research. The big issue for me isn’t my urgency. Probably much like others, it’s simply the lack of time. I feel l have identified my challenge (process vs product in my junior-level music programs) after having some initial chats with my juniors using questions I created. They are very much on the same page as me, but perhaps I choose a group that was more likely to respond positively to me since I am their teacher and they are in my classroom? Was their response valid? I recognized I have access to over 80 juniors whom I teach. What about a Google form? Many of them tend to write more openly to me in our Google classroom forum than they speak anyway. This is still just at the idea phase…no real action…YET.  

As for my insights into this process, I have validated my student-centred philosophy with this activity. I also feel validation that I’m on the right track after speaking with them and other music educators at a recent conference who feel likeminded. The reality is that I also feel this is going to be tough. Concert season is now coming into the thick of things. Time is a hot commodity!

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