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My Music Teacher Checklist

One of the most helpful strategies to develop as an elementary music teacher is to create a plan for yearly growth and a checklist of goals. Taking time to create such a plan establishes an “aim” for your development, and as they say, “You can’t hit a target you can’t see”. The following are excerpts from my development plan and goals that you can use for yourself if you please.

Some of the things listed are staples of my classroom system and some of them seem like distant dreams, but the point is that I have a list that reminds me of what to aim for to improve. Also, by no means is this an exhaustive list, I encourage you to share your own ideas so that others, and myself can have more ideas for improvement.


(I like to start with a result, this, ultimately, is how I want the year to go. It’s a vision for the year, of sorts.)

Result- A year of phenomenal music education for my elementary music program including an increase in musical knowledge based on the District curriculum and the 7 Key Outcomes of Elementary Musicianship. This includes multiple quality musical performances, music hosted field trips and musical experiences, and an abiding sense of joy and excitement, for my students and myself, about participating in the school music program such that all of these increases produce massive growth for my students and myself.


(This is my “Why” for getting up each day to teach. I don’t know about you but some days it can be hard to get up and give my all and these are the most important times to remember my purpose.)

Purpose- I will achieve the above result because I am committed to the life of every student regardless of who they are or how they behave. Every student has a need to grow, and to contribute to something greater than his or herself, and I will provide ample opportunity for them to do so. I also know each student is looking to belong and be significant and the elementary music program provides a backdrop for each student to do so. The elementary music program will provide a sense of certainty for each student to know that they can have an enjoyable time exploring music and a variety of lessons and activities so that they will have interest and anticipate what’s coming next.

Massive Action Plan

(This is essentially a list of goals. Some may be met, others may be in reach, and still others may seem far off, however; it is useful to have a running list to review. The plan is broken into several catagories ranging from classroom management to plans for performances for the year.)

Massive Action Plan-

  • Rituals and Routines

  • Entering and Finding Seats (Chairs marked with tape)

  • Assigned Seats

  • Reward System

  • Using Champs

  • Assigned Instrument Rotation (So students get to experience all instruments)

  • Class Jobs (Rotating) (Chair straighteners, recorder washers etc.)

  • Lesson Planning and Curriculum

  • Plans based on district curriculum

  • 7 Key Outcomes of Elementary Musicianship (I created this)

  • Weeks ahead in planning

  • Scope and Sequence

  • CBC Board up to date (This details what each grade is doing on the board for everyone to see)

  • Documentation and Organization

  • Develop Documentation Systems

  • Attendance

  • Assigned Seats

  • Observations well planned for and anticipated

  • Highly Effective This Year (Performance Evaluation)

  • Lesson plans on desk

  • Parent Contact log

  • Anecdotal reports of each class including student behavior and learning

  • Copies of all incident reports and referrals

  • School Ensembles

  • (School Mascot) Singers

  • (School Mascot) Chorus

  • (School Mascot) Orff

  • Uke Troop (Possible Small Breakout Ensemble)

  • Songwriting and Music Production Club

  • School Shows

  • Winter Holiday Extravaganza

  • Veteran’s Day

  • Cultural Concert

  • Spring Concert

  • Field Trips

  • Celebration of the Arts (District-wide music Showcase)

  • Opera (Field Trip)

  • Christmas at the Airport (Performance Opportunity)

  • In house performance visits (The performers come to us)

  • School Board Performances

  • Professional Development

  • Join Nafme

  • Go to (State wide conference)

  • Highly Effective

  • Get Orff Certified

  • Motivation and State

  • Motivational quotes and pictures decorating classroom

  • Mini Priming in warm-up (Warm-up to get class focused and ready)

  • Class appropriate motivation speaking clips and videos

  • Joy Factor

  • Class Rewards

  • Good Sound Thermometer (Temperature goes up when students sing well)

  • Wax Warmer (Classroom scents [careful of allergies])

  • Warmth and Welcome

This is by no means an exhaustive list of goals that could help improve your music program. Please share any strategies or goals that you are aiming for below!

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