Spotlight on Hayden Eberhart, Music Teacher
Q: Tell us why you decided to join ETM-LA.
Eberhart: I had always been interested in teaching music, but I had gone to school for performance. I discovered that ETM-LA has a music teacher internship program, which I thought was perfect! I could see if teaching was something I would really like by actually spending time in a classroom rather than making the commitment of going back to school and discovering that teaching wasn’t for me. Turns out I love teaching, so it worked out!
Q: How would you describe the culture of ETM-LA?
Eberhart: It is very collaborative and is all about helping us learn to become better teachers – whether we learn from the training sessions or from each other, there is a huge amount of support behind us.
Q: How would you describe the culture of the school where you teach?
Eberhart: I love Hooper! The teachers were all very welcoming when I was new at the beginning of the year, and they couldn’t be more helpful.
Q: Are there noticeable changes you see in your students and your school?
Eberhart: I have a few classes that were extremely shy at the beginning of the year, and I could barely get them to sing. Now they are much more confident!
Q: What has been your greatest challenge as a music teacher?
Eberhart: Everything! As a new teacher it is all new and intimidating. But if I had to pick, I would probably say classroom management.
Q: How has teaching impacted you?
Eberhart: Teaching has given me a sense of joy and fulfillment that I hadn’t really experienced before. Yes, there are tough days, but there are also those days where I feel like I’ve really made a difference, and taught them something they wouldn’t otherwise know, and hopefully instill in them a love of music. It’s a pretty cool feeling. [On a side note, I’ve also been physically impacted by teaching, in that I’ve been sick about 37 times this year]
Q: Was there a specific moment when you realized you loved teaching?
Eberhart: The most amazing moment was the first time I put actual music notes in front of 2nd graders. They had learned about the staff, and had been using stick notation on the staff, but when I put real notes in front of them, they could just read it. It was completely unexpected and it really felt like I had succeeded and actually taught them something!
Q: What are some words of wisdom you would give to an aspiring music teacher/educator?
Eberhart: Teaching is something you have to learn by doing – no matter how much you know beforehand, there is nothing like actually being in front of a group of students. I think that becoming a good teacher takes time, and you never stop learning how to become a better teacher.