W.H. Morden Public School
Sandra was honoured with the OTIP Teaching Award for excellence in teaching in the Beginning Teacher category.
Sandra’s philosophy is that all students in her class, no matter their ability, should learn to enjoy music and recognize how it is such a large part of their lives. With music, they create memories, recalling senses, smells and feelings. This is the message she wants to get across to her students and her success in her first year reflects this philosophy.
Sandra was presented with many challenges, not the least of which was having some students who had little or no interest in instrumental music. Sandra created meaningful experiences for Life Skills students, gifted students, and students who come with little or no musical experience. For example, she connected students with those in other countries to learn about each other and play songs together. Some students composed full band compositions and additional parts to include new instruments in a piece. Sandra developed a computer game complete with the facility to compose music. In addition, she has reached out to the local music store so that the students in her classes can have access to instruments with free rentals. She consistently offers support before, during and after class for any student who wishes to take advantage of her time and coaching.
As stated in her nomination, “Sandra’s tireless efforts have given her students a real sense of pride in what they can accomplish.”