Ten Charles Butt Scholar alumni, now first and second-year teachers, share their struggles, victories, and learnings a few months into the 2020-21 school year. These new Texas teachers find inspiration in their profession, and in the process, inspire us. Explore the full Q&A portfolio.

Q Can you share one recent moment or memory that encapsulates your experience or communicates what is most meaningful about your job right now?

A Besides taking it one day at a time and doing the absolute best that I can, being able to see the smiles on my student’s faces when they learn something new or when they beat the teacher at a music game is incredibly meaningful. Taking time to connect with my students and learn more about them on a level deeper than just the surface is allowing them to open up to each other in my class. These connections that we are forming together encapsulate the positive experiences that are coming out of virtual teaching.

Q How has your education prepared you for this moment?

A My education has taught me to think outside the box and be a problem solver. I have had to take some music technology classes that have assisted in helping me troubleshoot issues with the virtual teaching software and search for ways to deliver the TEKS in new and inventive ways.

Q What is one way you’ve supported your students recently?

A At the beginning of each class, I always make sure to share and invite others in the class to share “good news.” This helps kindle a safe atmosphere and gives us time to reflect on and share the great things that are happening in our lives right now. It facilitates a sense of normalcy in a very abnormal time.

Q Given the good, bad, and ugly of 2020-21, what do you love about teaching right now?

A I love that music is a ubiquitous language that can transcend different technological mediums. Even though this situation is far from ideal, I am blessed to still have a job and make music with my students- even on a remote platform.