Feature Friday: Cassie Lee

Welcome to Feature Friday! Where we showcase a new teacher each week in an interview. For past Feature Friday interviews, go here. 

Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Cassie Lee, an elementary teacher in West Jordan, Utah. She taught second grade for a year and is currently teaching in a first-grade classroom. Here’s what Cassie has to say: 

What is your favorite thing about teaching this age/subject?

“First graders are so enthusiastic and curious about everything! They are all little scientists and just want to know more about the world around them. Any question or experience can be turned into a teaching opportunity, and I love fostering that love of learning in them. They have such a love of life and there is never a dull moment in my classroom. How many people can say their job is never boring?” 

What made you want to go into teaching? 

“My main reason for going into teaching was that I wanted to pay forward the hard work that good teachers before me had done. My dad is an immigrant and had some teachers who impacted his life greatly, to the point where he named my brother after one of them. Those teachers took the time to really care and went above and beyond the call of duty. I myself had many amazing teachers who also took the time to get to know me and loved me for who I was. I wanted to be able to have that kind of impact in the lives of children as well.” 

What is one of your favorite ways to utilize technology in the classroom? 

“At the first school I taught at, I had a SmartBoard in my room and that was a really fun, engaging and interactive tool. My students loved getting to use it and interact with it. It had its fair share of shortcomings and glitches (I will never forget when it didn’t want to work during an observation, ahh!) but overall it was an enjoyable resource. My students could sort information on it, roll interactive dice, write on it, etc. It gave all of them an interactive visual to participate with during my lessons and I enjoyed learning the variety of ways I could use it in my classroom.”

How have you integrated the arts into your core curriculum? 

“I enjoy using visual art in my teaching most of all, but I also enjoy using elements of drama, dance, and music. Integrating the arts is engaging and enjoyable and gives students more chances to be creative and demonstrate their learning.” 

“As a first-grade teacher, I have to keep my kids moving, so we act out and dance a lot. We will also learn songs connected to our curriculum too. Due to time constraints and maintaining a rigorous pace, I integrate social studies and science into reading, and I integrate the arts into that as well. We do an art project every Friday that is linked to the unit we studied that week. It is a really fun way to cap off that week’s worth of learning.”

If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why? 

“What a hard thing to do! I openly acknowledge that I am addicted to kids’ books. So I’m going to cheat a little and give two answers.”

“If I had to pick a book to use for teaching, it would be The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood. It is such a fun and clever way to teach story elements and get the kids engaged in narrative writing.”

“If I had to pick one children’s book that changed my life personally it would be The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. What a heart-wrenching and beautiful story. It really tugs at your heart and makes you think. If I taught an older grade I would totally read it as a read-aloud.”

What are your best tips for avoiding burnout? 

“That’s a big question. Burnout is very real and very overwhelming. I recommend remembering to take time for yourself and your own hobbies, outside of teaching. I myself am married but don’t have any kids. It’s easy for me to come home and work non-stop. I’m learning how to cut myself off and take time for self-care. It’s not a selfish thing, it’s how I keep myself healthy and fully able to do my job to my best ability.” 

“I’m also working on saying no. That sounds weird, but I tend to be the kind of person who just keeps accepting more and more additional work and responsibilities. I like being helpful and tackling big projects, but I’ve started noticing that I am burning out quickly. It’s important to be self-reflective and learn to create some boundaries.”

What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching? 

“That it’s okay to acknowledge my mistakes and apologize to my class. Whether that was over something I mistaught, a situation I mishandled, etc. You’re not a bad teacher because you’re not perfect. You’re not a bad teacher for messing up. You’re just human, and that’s okay. It’s always funny to me how my kids react to me apologizing. They’re always so shocked. Adults hardly ever apologize to kids for their mistakes, right? But it’s a valuable lesson to see and learn- no one is perfect, and that’s okay.”

What are the benefits you’ve seen in collaborating with your team of teachers? 

“We all learn from each other! I have always been the youngest person on my teams and I worried in the beginning about not being able to contribute. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Younger teachers bring a fresh perspective and new ideas. It’s been really enjoyable to collaborate and see what comes of it. Everyone benefits and all of our teaching practices improve.”

How do you use student voice in your classroom and what outcomes have you seen from it? 

“Student voice is a funny thing in first grade. First graders can be very random and silly, so I try to hone that to my advantage. You gotta think quickly on your feet when a kid replies to your question with a random answer, like telling you their pet’s name. I always try to affirm their initial response but will push for deeper thinking with questioning. I want kids to feel comfortable to be themselves and express themselves, but I also want them to learn how to do that respectfully. They are all such unique individuals, so it’s also fun to work on collaborative projects, like a class story or art project.”


Thanks, Cassie for the great words you have for us today! 

Feature Friday: Logan Nielsen

Welcome to Feature Friday! Where we showcase a new teacher each week in an interview. For past Feature Friday interviews, go here.

Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Logan Nielsen, a 7th and 8th grade English teacher. She received her education at Utah Valley University and then taught for 8 years before eventually staying home to raise her family and become a different kind of teacher. Here’s what she has to say about teaching- 

What is your favorite thing about teaching this age/subject?

“I taught junior high English for 8 years and absolutely loved it. People would always give me a look of either pity, amazement, or sympathy when they found out what grades I taught, but I would always respond by telling them how much I loved it and loved my students. One of my favorite things about teaching junior high was that the students are still so impressionable. They, for the most part, are very receptive to learning and are still young enough that they haven’t been jaded by the world. They are still kids at heart but are also turning into incredible young adults.”

What made you want to go into teaching? 

“I chose to go into teaching because I had a passion for my content area. I loved all things reading and writing, so teaching English just made sense for me. I wanted to share that passion with young people and help them realize how amazing reading and writing could be.”

What is one of your favorite ways to utilize technology in the classroom? 

“I had a smartboard in my classroom and loved to use that. I also frequently used Google Docs for assignments. We frequently did PowerPoint or other types of computer-based presentations. As cell phones became more popular among that age, I began to utilize their access to various apps for classroom instruction.”

If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why?

“This is a tough question for me! There are so many great ones out there. For me, personally, I love anything by Shel Silverstein. He has an amazing way of teaching poignant lessons through silly poetry. Kids love it, and adults do as well.”

How have you seen education change in the years you’ve taught? 

“I saw a shift in how students learn. Technology began to play a much larger role in my later years of teaching than it did in my earlier years. I also saw a change where students began to be more responsible for their learning. They were able to do more inquiry-based learning where they were in control of what they were doing.” 

How do you use student voice in your classroom and what outcomes have you seen from it? 

“I believe that student voice is absolutely crucial to a positive learning environment. Students do so much better if they have a say in what is going on. They love choice. As a time when they are faced with so many life changes, and often times are wanting to feel some independence, I believe that allowing their voices to be heard is extremely beneficial. I loved giving project options and letting them choose what they wanted to do. I loved free writing time, where students were able to tell me anything they wanted to. I loved getting them to think critically about issues that impact them or that they would have opinions on. I saw students blossom when given the chance to share their voice. It is truly one of the most magical things about teaching.”

What is your favorite unit you teach and why is it your favorite?

“With my 7th graders, my absolute favorite unit was teaching the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I loved teaching it because, even though it was written in the 1960s, there was still so much that was relatable to teenagers today. It was always the one book I could count on every student enjoying and getting involved with. I mean, who doesn’t love Ponyboy?!”

“With my 8th graders, my favorite unit to teach was the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry. It became my favorite because, again, there are many things that are relatable in it. It has so many topics and issues that are excellent discussion starters. It’s amazing how deeply 14-year-olds feel about certain issues, and I loved seeing them come to life when we would discuss the issues present in the novel.”


Thanks for the great insight, Logan! What a fun Feature Friday we had this week! Next week we get to hear from a second grade teacher with an excellent book list to share with us, come on back to hear what she has to say!

Feature Friday: Nadine Ball

Welcome to Feature Friday! Where we showcase a new teacher each week in an interview. For past Feature Friday interviews, go here

Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Nadine Ball, a second-grade teacher at Ucon Elementary in Ucon, Idaho, which is where I went to elementary school! She has been teaching there for 30 years now. Nadine is mom to Rachel Hassman, our feature Friday interview from last week. Rachel mentioned what an influence her mom has been in choosing a teaching career, so I only found it fitting to interview the legend herself! 

 Mrs. Ball loves second graders for their sense of humor and ability to accept other peers without judgment. She also loves what an innocent view they have of the world. Here’s what Nadine has for us today. 

How do you integrate the arts into your classroom? 

“I admit I was better at this when our district did not hire music teachers. Now we have them and it is awesome. When I was without music teachers, I recruited parent volunteers to come into the classroom and teach music. As far as art itself, I have always encouraged creativity and taught some sort of art lesson weekly. I still do this and it definitely varies each week and is often related to holidays. I rely on what I learned in my art methods class years ago to teach such things as grid, painting, etc.”

If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be? 

“Wow, to recommend just one childrenś book…I cannot do it!
Maybe to recommend just one author:  Here are three.”

Suzy Kline (Horrible Harry series)
Tomie dePaola
Chris Van Allsburg

What are your best tips to avoid burnout? 

“a. take summer off and relax!
b. hang out and chat often with colleagues; share fears and frustrations
c. try to always appreciate kids and their unique qualities”

What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year of teaching? 

“To just chill out and enjoy each day! Recognize the fact that every day will not be a great one and you always have tomorrow. Kids are resilient and forgiving.”

How has education changed in the years you’ve taught? 

“Education has changed every single year. I would say Math and Reading instruction has seen the most changes, mostly in theories and what works best for kids. When federal money is flowing, math and reading curriculum is updated often and each time something new is adopted, it is slightly different. HOW to teach math and reading is always tweaked, depending on what book on the subjects is popular at the time.”

How do you use student voice in your classroom? 

“Second graders do pretty much what I want them to and I call the shots mostly. I feel that I welcome all types of opinions and allow kids to express themselves freely. We do quite a bit of journal writing, creative writing and research and I think this allows kids to use their own interests. None of my kids participate in student council, where their voice could change the school. But we do have that and as kids get older, their voice maybe means more. I always listen to kids and their ideas!”

What are your favorite units to teach? 

“–solar system
–early US history and native Americans
–careers
–Idaho and state symbols
–rocks/minerals”


It was so fun to be able to interview two generations of second-grade teachers and see the insight they had for us. Enjoy that new grandbaby, Nadine and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today! 

Feature Friday: Rachel Hassman

Welcome to Feature Friday! Where we showcase a new teacher each week in an interview. For past Feature Friday interviews, go here.

Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Rachel Hassman, a second-grade teacher in Nampa, Idaho. She claims her best friends are 7 to 8-year-olds who are silly and creative, yet more capable than we give them credit for. She started her education at Northwest Nazarene University where she was recruited as a soccer player, started her undergrad as pre-med, then switched later to an education degree. She also has a master’s degree in curriculum, innovation, and instruction. Receiving a master’s degree in administration may be in her future as well! A certain part of their future is their first baby coming soon, how exciting! Read what Mrs. Hassman has to say about teaching below. 

What made you want to go into teaching? 

“I originally began college as a pre-med student. I have always loved science and I only saw myself in a career that was geared towards community and public service. Through many conversations with my mom (who is also an incredible 2nd-grade teacher!), I began to realize that the career I wanted was in education and not in the medical field. As a young person, my only idea of “helping” was to heal the sick. After being involved in a few mission trips and serving opportunities I began to realize that education is the tool that many families and communities need in order to make real growth and change happen. Education is transformative in that it can empower the educated individual to become whoever they want to be. There is no geographic movement, living situation, or amount of poverty that can take away your knowledge. Schools are the link between families, services, success, and so much more. I realized that I wanted in on this transformative work so I changed my major and never looked back!” 

What is a big challenge you face often in teaching, and how do you overcome it? 

“A big challenge I face daily is student behavior. I teach in a school whose population is 92% below the poverty line. Our entire building receives free breakfast and lunch. I have many students who are homeless and many more who live in foster care. Because of these demographics (and all that comes along with these living situations), students arrive in my room with countless past and current trauma’s affecting their emotional well-being. Before I even have the chance to intervene academically I have the challenge of teaching emotional regulation and creating an environment of safety. Fostering Resilient Learners was an amazing read and it taught me how to recognize, empathize, and work with students dealing with the effects of trauma. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who works with people because chances are, we’ve all been through something!” 

What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching? 

“You’re going to get punched. You’re going to have to forgive the kid. And you’re going to have to greet him with a smile the very next day. Crazy, unpredictable things are going to happen with your group and your year. Every year. You absolutely HAVE to lean into your support systems. I can remember calling our instructional coach into my room for 5 minutes so I could leave and let out a good, frustrated cry. I can also remember waiting way too long to call on my principal for help in many difficult situations. I also didn’t value a relationship with our school counselor in my first year. Now, in year 4, she is as much a counselor and support system for me as she is for my students. You have so much support in your building. Look for it, ask for it, and be so grateful for it.” 

How have you seen education change in the years you’ve taught? 

“There is always something new. Some years everything is new! This is one of the things I love about teaching. There is almost nothing I am currently doing that I did in my first year. Constant change, updating, and researching creates the kind of learning environment kids need: one that fits them! The biggest change I’ve seen in my own teaching is the attention to differentiation. I no-longer teach the bulk of my day whole group. In fact, there is very little I do whole group! Most of my time is spent meeting in differentiated groups that are fluid and change weekly and sometimes daily. I see this as a shift in education as a whole as well. Increased access to technology helps in the differentiation of students’ independent work. I’ve been introduced to many different programs that can help fill gaps in phonics, math facts, etc. These are incredibly helpful to me so while students work independently on filling their own gaps, I can focus on a small group and the exact needs of that group.” 

Who influenced you most to choose a career in education? 

“My mom! I grew up in her classroom before and after school and I always knew how much she loved her job. She has always been an incredible example of serving her community through teaching (and many other endeavors). I’ve known my whole life that her job also allowed her to be a really good mom for me and my brothers. That is something I value as well -my husband and I are expecting our first baby in May of 2020! She may not know it, but just by watching my mom all those years, she made teaching seem like the best job in the whole world. Then when college came along, she was so helpful to guide me through my transition from the pursuit of the medical field to the pursuit of education. She was patient and encouraging in my search for what was always right there in front of me!”


Rachel has great advice for all of us, especially what she has to say to first-year teachers! That is advice any teacher can use. Thanks for the great interview, Rachel, and congrats on the new baby coming soon! 

Feature Friday: Keisha Wilson

Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Keisha Wilson, she is a special education teacher in Utah. Her students range from 1st-5th grade and are considered medically fragile. She covers all subjects, reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, music, social skills, as well as life skills. 

What is your favorite thing about teaching this age/subject?

“I love teaching students with special needs. There can be challenges that are unique to our setting and the challenge I enjoy. These children can learn and grow just like their typical peers and having a belief in them makes my job possible. I love helping these students discover that they can do things is a wonderful thing. They grow in their beliefs in themselves and they are so excited to learn and be treated as a normal student and that is what I strive for. The other thing that is so amazing about these students is helping them learn how to communicate. They are so excited to be understood and communicate their wants and needs.”

What made you want to go into teaching? 

“I have always had a love of children and working with children with special needs. I have had many small experiences that pushed me towards special education. I had this job fall into my lap and it has driven many of my decisions since. Teaching is a passion of mine and it has been something that found me, not I found it.”

What is one of your favorite ways to utilize technology in the classroom? 

“We use alternative communication technology which is the most utilized and best technology in my classroom. Things like switches, eye gaze computers, scanning computers, and Ipads. All of these things give my students a voice because they are unable to use their physical voice.” 

If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why? 

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. There are so many simple principles and elements that can be taught from that story.” 

What is a big challenge you face often in teaching, and how do you overcome it?

“Because of the severity of the disabilities that our children have there are daily obstacles that we have to overcome. I think that the biggest that we do is that my students are non-verbal. We use alternate communication methods to talk to our students. They have eye gaze computers, scanning switches, and vision boards for the kiddos to talk.” 

What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching? 

“I wish I would have known that teachers are basically always behind. That being caught up in paperwork and grading is probably not going to happen and that is okay. It is also something that I love because it means that I will never be bored at work.” 

Mrs. Wilson is such a patient teacher and her co-workers have raved about how great she is with her students. She sees their needs and meets them where they need it. There is so much from her interview we can all learn from. 

Feature Friday: Mariah Woodford

Today’s Feature Friday is spotlighting a friend of mine teaching in Phoenix, Arizona. Mariah Woodford teaches first grade in an SEI mixed classroom. This means half of her students have to take the AZELLA test, and half do not. The AZELLA test is a standardized test given to students whose home language is primarily Spanish. Mariah loves teaching first grade because she loves the kind-hearted spirits and that at this age they don’t hold grudges, so the end of the day is always followed with a hug. She also loves crafting and using glitter any chance she has! 

What made you want to go into teaching?

“This question makes me laugh a little just because since deciding to get my degree in education I have been asked this question too many times to count. Long story short, I grew up in a family of six, so I was always around other kids. All of my jobs dealt with kids, (gymnastics coach, track coach, camp counselor, bus aid) and when thinking about my future I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to be a mom and a career that I could continue to do as my future kids got older.” 

How have you integrated the arts into your core curriculum? 

“Our school has a partnership with the Phoenix Symphony and they have created a program called “Mind Over Music” M.O.M for short. What happens is each grade is assigned a musician and together the musician and the teachers create lessons that mesh music into the student’s everyday learning.” 

If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why?

“I can’t think of any in specific but you can’t go wrong with Dr. Suess. These books are extremely engaging and silly. These books are a great tool to use when teaching about rhymes and how to rhyme. They are also great “repeat after me” books. This can help them gain comprehension skills as they are more likely to remember what happened in the story with all of the repetition.” 

What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching?

“During your own schooling, you start to think about your teaching philosophy and everything you really want to do and things you tell yourself you will NEVER do. Once I got my own classroom I realized everything I said in school wasn’t based on any real experience and a lot of my beliefs about my own teaching had changed. This, however, was a really hard pill to swallow because I was so committed to try and do everything I told myself I would do as a teacher. This truly is just not possible, especially in your first year. There were times that I honestly was so lost in all of the day-to-day tasks and learning the new curriculums that I had no idea if my kids were even learning anything. So to all new teachers- teaching is honestly the hardest thing you may ever do. I’m saying possibly harder than giving birth and taking care of a newborn. I have the experience to back that up.  Don’t think you can do everything. You just can’t. Even if you think your kids aren’t learning, you were trained in this field and just simply being in class and putting on your best teaching face is all they really need.”  

What is a big challenge you face often in teaching, and how do you overcome it?

“The biggest challenge I face in teaching is behavior. Just when I think I have got my classroom under control and I feel they know and understand the rules and procedures, the next day it’s as if they have never heard of them before. I don’t believe I have overcome this, but I have learned some tools in helping keep the whole situation at a calm level. If you are heated and angry, there is no chance you can then de-escalate the also angry and heated child. It’s 100% okay to allow yourself to take a breather, leave the situation and collect your thoughts, before returning to the situation. I have to remind myself of this every day. Truly this I feel is what can make or break a teacher. The verdict is still out on what it will do to me.”

What has been your favorite experience from this school year so far?

“I am not sure if this fits into my favorite experience but I do have my all-time favorite comment. Background, my students were on the carpet free drawing on their personal whiteboards. I was getting the technology ready. This is what I heard/ saw:
Student A points to student B’s whiteboard and in all seriousness and full sass says “Yaaaassss Queen!!” I lost it and couldn’t help but laugh out loud.” 

What are the Negative impacts you have felt as a teacher with schools shutting down due to coronavirus? 

“I never in a million years thought that the end of my school year was just going to be ripped away from me, without even a chance to say goodbye to my students. Before all the schools shut down, we had left for spring break. I had left my kids telling them that when we get back they will have popsicles waiting for them, as we had just won the door decorating competition. Even though that is such a small thing, I find myself thinking about it a lot. It reminds me of all the other things we won’t get to do now as a class. Here are just a few: Easter activities and crafts, canceled. Field day, canceled. Big end of the year science project, canceled. Mothers day fun, canceled. Last week of school fun until the end, canceled. Giving them their last hug before summer, canceled. “

“I did not go to school to be trained on how to be an online teacher. I was trained to be in the classroom with human contact. Because of this virus, we were thrown a whole new situation and were asked to come up with a plan in a matter of days. Making video lessons with no students responding and just hoping that they have access to even watch them, honestly sucks.”

What are the positive impacts you have seen come from it? 

“A lot of teachers in my district would agree that this whole year we have been asked to implement all types of technology into the classroom in many different learning opportunities. We, however, felt there wasn’t ever enough time for us as teachers to really learn the technology ourselves to then correctly implement it for the students. WELL, now implementing technology is literally the ONLY thing we can do, and now have basically been forced to learn it, and learn it all. I feel I know so much more now about technology and implementing it into children’s learning.”

“I feel this has made my students realize how much they actually do like school and like learning. It was a good reset for us all. My students have been asking for more and more work. The one face-to-face meeting I have had with the few students that got on has been so heartwarming. All of their faces lit up when they saw one another and were just so happy to see their classmate’s faces.”

“I have a toddler myself who usually goes to daycare all day while I am at work. This has been a little blessing in disguise as now I have been given a lot more time to focus on my daughter. We have played all of the games of hide-and-seek and tag as you could possibly imagine!”

How has this affected your students? 

“Unfortunately, this has affected my students greatly. I work in a title one district. Switching to online school is not an easy switch. Most of my students don’t have a device and/or even internet access for the online learning that I have tirelessly been working on. My students are all bilingual, with Spanish being their first language. Because of that, learning how to read/ write is even harder than it already is. It is so crucial that my students go to school every day to learn all of the skills that they can so that they don’t fall even more behind. “

“As of right now, I have seen 8 of my 24 students doing the online assignments. That means 16 of them are most likely not doing any type of schooling at home. This is devastating as a teacher. My number one job is to teach my students how to read and have the foundational skills they need for the upper grades. For 16 of my students, this is not happening. And for my other 8 students, their learning is limited.  Teaching kids to read through a computer screen is not the easiest of tasks.” 

If you could give another teacher some advice on this situation, what would you tell them? 

“The only advice I feel there is to give is to take a deep breath and realize this is such a crazy situation that we have been put in, and we can’t fix it all. Every household in the whole world is having to change plans, and figure out how to live in this pandemic. I think it’s okay to take a step back and to only do what’s most important. In my eyes, that’s to simply be with your family, (or whoever you live with) and enjoy the time you have together that normally is not there. Things will work out, maybe just not how we expected them to.”

Mariah is a fantastic first great teacher with great insight into teaching. She has plenty of trial and error experience in her first few years of being an educator as well as her personal experience navigating COVID-19 school shutdowns, and I feel like it’s important information that all of us can learn from. Thanks for the interview, Mariah!

The Power Music Has In Education

When it comes to using arts in our core curriculums, music may be one of the easiest and fastest incorporations. For almost any given topic in math, language arts, science, and reading, there is a song that already exists somewhere online for your students to learn. You don’t even have to be creative and make it up yourself, someone has already done the work for you!

Music has a way of creating a memory and keeping it safe in a child’s brain, something I’ve been able to witness with my own daughter. 

As she got older and played outside more often I started worrying about the street in front of our house. While we went on walks around our neighborhood I so badly wanted to trust that she wouldn’t bolt into the middle of the road, but I could not at just under two years old. Cue: the music. This particular tune I learned back in high school while volunteering in a daycare, and it worked wonders to teach to her. 

Look both ways, listen close my friends. 
Look left, look right, look left and right again. 
When you’re running here and there remember what they say! 
Be smart, be safe, and look both ways. 

With some instruction and repeating the song at every single opportunity, she seemed to have grasped the concept. The true test came the day more pressure was on her and the temptation to bolt across the road without looking was strong. 

Her good friend was across the busy street playing when my daughter spotted her and her only thought was, “I need to be over there.” She started sprinting down the driveway with me close on her heels yelling for her to stop. The second she saw the edge of the sidewalk she came to a halt and started singing, 

Look both ways, listen close my friends. 
Look left, look right, look left and right again. 
When you’re running here and there remember what they say! 
Be smart, be safe, and look both ways.

Her little head moved left and right, then left and right again as she stood there. She saw cars coming down the road and waited patiently for them to pass. By this time, I was standing close enough to grab her if needed, but far enough to observe. Once the road was completely clear and safe to cross, she looked back at me for approval, then crossed the street. 

I was in awe at my fiercely independent two-year-old and what she was capable of. I was astounded that simply singing a song stuck in her little mind so well that when in an unsafe situation, she was able to recall what she had learned previously. 

Music is moving. Music is incredible. Music is powerful. In this particular situation, music was life-saving.

How have you seen music play a role in education?

Cover photo: my daughter at 18 months old playing the piano