The Mary Hoffman Award Experience

It’s a done deal.  I’ve officially gotten the fabulous plaque and given the speech.  I have to admit that the speech was the thing that troubled me the most.  I haven’t given a speech where I wasn’t teaching anything in quite awhile.  I didn’t really want to enumerate a list of people who supported me because all the other music teachers at the conference don’t know all my local people and my local people weren’t able to come to the conference.   So my speech ended up being about the reminders the Mary Hoffman Award provided.  Getting this award was not just an honor for me, it was an honor for my community and my administration as well.  This opportunity used properly could be cause for a better understanding of what a quality music education program we have at IW.

When the elementary teachers at IW found out that I had won the award they were so supportive.  They wanted all the specifics to add to their weekly newsletters.  What a wonderful breath of fresh air!  Their supportive reaction made me realize what a blessing my co-workers are to me.  There was no jealousy only pure joy for my accomplishment!

I’ve also got people from my area coming up to make introductions to me at the conference as a result of receiving the award.  I teach in a small rural area and music teachers from my area have been so excited to see an educator from our area being recognized.  So often it is the teachers with a bigger budget and more kids in a grade level that get the big awards.  My school does not have a big budget.  My district is decidedly low income about half of our students are on free and reduced lunches.  So my network is growing locally from a statewide award!  It has been an exciting weekend (minus the stomach flu I had on the day of the award of course) and I would highly recommend it to any of you out there!

Brenda Muench

music educator tech specialist

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