“The more we get together the happier we’ll be.” These lyrics of a children’s song, “The More We Get Together”, best expresses how I felt as I spoke to the Northlake Rotary Club on September 3, 2015. This was not my first time to speak before this organization. I have been twice honored as their “Educator of the Year” in 2008 and 2009. As I explained to the Rotarians, my acquaintance with the organization actually dates back to college where I worked as a server during the Baton Rouge Rotary Club meetings. I have been a long admirer of this organization and their motto “Service Above Self”. Each year, I have also witnessed the Rotary Club’s impact on Woodlake Elementary School as they give each third grade student a dictionary. My students are incredibly proud of their dictionaries and can be seen looking up words even while waiting in car line.
While speaking to the Northlake Rotary Club, I pointed out all of the technological advances that have occurred during my fifteen years of teaching. These advances have not only transformed how I teach but what I am teaching. As we are preparing students for the future, our focus in education is now centered on building the skills that the students will need to be successful in the 21st century: communication, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, and leadership. I shared with the members my strategies for developing these skills in music through small group composition projects along with revealing Woodlake Elementary School’s approach to building the future leaders of our community.
The lyrics of “The More We Get Together” also states, “For your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends”. The relationship between the Rotary Club and my school are the perfect example of these words. Thank you to President Stephen Satterlee and the Northlake Rotary Club for your commitment to serving the students of Woodlake Elementary School!