Tips from a top teacher: Lisa Hatfield, Batavia Unit District 101
Lisa Hatfield's energy and passion for music is contagious throughout Batavia Unit District 101, parents and colleagues say. In her eighth year teaching fifth-grade band, and her 14th year with the district overall, she continues finding new ways to instill a love of music in her students while also teaching them valuable life lessons along the way.
Here are some words of advice Hatfield offers to other teachers:
• If you're bored with the content, the students are, too. It's just as important to keep yourself engaged.
• Approach every situation with compassion -- even the frustrating ones.
• There will never be enough time to do everything you want, so do your best and try to keep your priorities straight.
• Celebrate throughout the process, and not just when the goal is achieved.
• Develop a caring and attentive rapport with parents. They are your biggest cheerleaders and your best assistants.
• There are so many unsung heroes that make teachers successful. Always thank your secretaries, custodians and technology department.
• The person who said "love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life" must have never seen a band teacher try to wrangle 175 10-year-olds with expensive noisemakers after a concert.