Since the fall of 1996, when I began working in Maryland public schools, I have only missed one conference. (That was an in-service that happened to fall on the day we went to settlement on our house.) Why do I hate to miss this opportunity? Because it IS an opportunity! Individual systems do not have the resources to bring a wide range of pertinent information to their music staff. Through my attendance at MMEA conferences, I have met professionals from across the state, built friendships, built a network of awesome professionals who are willing to share their expertise. I have also had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the biggest names in my profession! Through the years I have not only learned new things, I have been encouraged, gathered enough courage to step outside my comfort zone, and been affirmed at times when I was starting to question myself. Learning that the input of attendees is considered when putting together a future event was priceless. MMEA wants to meet MY needs. (I don't believe this rings true in all professional organizations.) Come join us as we work, learn, and grow together!
-Marci Fleck, Calvert County Public Schools
Being the Best
I always seek opportunities for professional development, especially as a teacher who wants to be the best that he can be for his students, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that attending the annual MMEA conferences is quite possibly one of the most effective and accessible options available to the state's current and future teachers. I, myself, have attended these conferences regularly even before my time as a teacher of my very own music program. In doing so, I have and continue to equip myself with strategies for becoming a highly effective band director, which with the help of friends and colleagues I have met through these same conferences, is an attainable goal for just about anyone who strives for improvement. In short, attending the annual MMEA conferences is just one of the many steps we teachers can take towards enabling our programs to grow and thrive.
-Hunter Martin, St. Mary’s County Public Schools
Impact Student Learning
I attend MMEA conferences each year because I am passionate about teaching and committed to students and their learning. By participating in this professional learning community I am able to reflect upon my practice and improve my teaching so that I may impact student learning! I always look forward to attending MMEA conferences because I impact student learning by collaborating with colleagues and sharing best practices so that I can add new strategies and approaches to my repertoire. I have even had the honor of contributing to the growth of my colleagues by leading workshop sessions and serving on the advisory board. MMEA and our fine music educators have been the stepping-stone for me to lead professional development on a national and international platform.
-Thomas Pierre, NBCT -Prince George's County Public Schools, 2018 MMEA Outstanding Music Educato