Friday Afternoon OpporTUNEity® Student Reflection: Heather Carpenter
Heather Carpenter, Junior, Music Education
Upon entering Anna Maria College, I was ready to tackle classes, learn about music, and make the best of my four years as a college student. I have known for a large portion of my life that I would become a music teacher and someday make an impact on students. I didn’t realize that day would start at the beginning of my sophomore year.
Throughout my second year of college, I was lucky enough to spend my evenings teaching the students of OpporTUNEity® how to play the piano. It challenged me in a way I never imagined. Being a music education major, I imagined that this would be easy. All of my education has been leading up to be able to teach students music. How hard could it be? Well, as it turns out, every day is different for every student.
OpporTUNEity® as taught me many things. I feel that the most important lesson I have learned is how to be an adaptive teacher. I had to learn how to read the class. Is this student having a good day or a bad day? Is the class as a whole in a good mood or a bad mood? Then, I would have to center my plans around that. Being an adaptive teacher is being able to go with the flow, but also getting done whatever needs to be done.
The students of OpporTUNEity® have also taught me so much. They have taught me how to wrangle a chatty class, an important skill as a future teacher. But they have also taught me how much music can impact every child’s life. It is so wholesome to see every student show up every week so excited to see their teachers and to learn about music.
Now, as a junior, I start every Wednesday afternoon with a choir classroom full of fourth-graders, all waiting to learn how to sing together. Within the span of only a few weeks, they have gone from being too shy to talk to asking to sing solos. OpporTUNEity® has created a topic for students to talk to their families about. We have created a safe space for children to go after school. We have created a space for students to express themselves musically. Each student has their own reason to love music, we just give them the opportunity to love music.