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Spotlight on Irene, Mentor Teacher-Supervisor


1.     Tell us why you decided to join ETM-LA.

Prior to working with Education Through Music-Los Angeles, I had taught music for 9 years, primarily in private schools. The schools I had taught in mostly served middle-class and upper middle-class families. I remembered thinking that it was great that these children all had the opportunity to study music in school and that music was something that their schools valued and were able to invest in. I also remember thinking that it was a shame that not all children in all schools had the same opportunity. When I moved to LA and discovered ETM-LA, I was excited by the possibility of bringing a quality music education to students in disadvantaged communities. I felt that ETM-LA was a place where I could use my skills as a teacher to make a positive impact.

2.     How would you describe the culture of ETM-LA?

Mission-driven. I would say that anyone who has been working at ETM-LA for a while is there because they are drawn to serve the communities of our partner schools. It is not an easy task, but we are driven to achieve because we believe in the importance of what we do.

3.     Describe your role to people who may not know what a Mentor Teacher-Supervisor is.

My role as a Mentor Teacher-Supervisor (MTS) is to support and guide my assigned group of music teachers. An MTS supports his or her teachers through providing feedback around lesson planning, the delivery of instruction, managing student behavior, and preparing for special events. We do so by visiting the classroom and observing our teachers teach, being present at concerts to help with logistics, and scheduling phone calls to speak with our teachers regarding any teaching challenges they may be presented with.

4.     What has been your greatest challenge as an MTS?

It is easy to tell someone how YOU would do something in YOUR class. However, not all teachers are exactly the same and neither are the students. Using your expertise and experience to guide a teacher to discover and create their own success, using their own unique strengths, can be a great challenge. An exciting challenge.