Teacher of the Year Blog


OKTOY Blog: And So We Begin...

Dec. 19, 2013

I am excited to begin the 2014 OKTOY Blog, and I agree with many friends that this is long overdue!

OKTOY Blog: Oklahoma Music Educators Conference


A couple weeks ago I attended the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OMEA) annual state conference in Tulsa.

I cannot reiterate enough the value of professional development and reconnecting with colleagues. Of course, this year was a little exceptional in the latter category due to the OKTOY recognition (My face was on the cover of the conference magazine. That took a little getting used to!). As I met with each new and old friend, we excitedly talked about the incredible good that we, music teachers, are able to accomplish.

OKTOY Blog: Action


The Oklahoma legislative session recently reconvened, and it is an interesting time to be a teacher.

Last month I attended the Central Oklahoma Parents Legislative Action Committee (PLAC) open meeting, which featured a panel with state senators Clark Jolley and Susan Paddock and state representatives Scott Inman and Scott Martin. While I know entire essays could be devoted to one political issue at a time, my general take away at this critical juncture in education is that we must act.

OKTOY Blog: Joy | 2014 NTOY Program conference

“Don’t lose your sense of Joy!” This is the advice from the 1996 National Teacher of the Year and proclaimed “force-of-nature,” Mary Beth Blegen from Minnesota.

I recently returned from the 2014 NTOY Program Conference. It was the first national meeting of our class of State Teachers of the Year. The memorable theme that came from our last homeroom gathering was that eye-to-eye reminder from Mary Beth about the joy we must find in our roles as teachers.

OKTOY Blog: The Power and Influence of a Teacher

To quote Japanese music educator Shinichi Suzuki, “Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”

OKTOY Peter Markes poses with students.

OKTOY Blog: Why Music Education? | Beyond the Bubbles

 
“Music is the universal language of mankind.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As we enter national Music in Our Schools Month, the National Association for Music Education is embarking on an exciting campaign called Broader Minded, which carries the slogan, “Students aren’t standardized. Think beyond the bubbles.”

OKTOY Blog: The Rally for Education


On March 31, I was invited to serve as the opening speaker for Oklahoma’s historic rally for education at the capitol. This is that speech: 

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Peter Markes speaks at the March 31 teacher rally.

OKTOY Blog: The Chi Mei Museum

 
In recent visits to high school orchestras around our state, I have been sharing this story from March 26, 2013. It is the top musical experience of my life:

Peter Markes plays a very expensive violin.

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Last updated on December 31, 1969