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Planning For The Next MTNA Conference: Make A Commitment To Your Professional Growth by ProQuest

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[...] travel to new cities, exploration of new restaurants and renewal of old friendships can be enjoyable fringe benefits of attending conferences, but usually those perks are not the primary reasons justifying a teacher's decision to spend valuable time and money for a few days away from the studio. [...] parents usually respect teachers even more when they realize that the decision to block out several days for professional development reflects the teacher's strong commitment to her own professional growth and demonstrates a desire to become an even better musician and teacher.

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									            Planning For The Next MTNA Conference
               Make A Commitment To Your Professional Growth
                                                  By Barbara English Maris




      Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the           insurance policy for those of us who are committed to our
    October/November 1994 AMT. It has been changed to             own continued growth. It challenges and helps us remain
    make it current.                                              fresh and vitally interested in our work. It provides opportu-
                                                                  nities to share successes and discover teaching strategies
                                                                  that have worked well for other teachers. Attending the


I
   t’s not too early to start making plans to attend the 2010     MTNA conference is one of the best ways to prevent pro-
   MTNA National Conference in Albuquerque, New                   fessional burnout.
   Mexico. Many independent music teachers have built the
conference into their regular schedules, and students know        ARRANGING FOR YOUR ABSENCE
that their teachers will not be in the studio during this            If your studio policy has made it clear that students enroll
week. Long-time students also know that at their lessons in       for a semester or entire year of study, parents usually under-
the weeks immediately after the conference, their teacher         stand the importance of making adjustments in your sched-
will be energized with lots of new ideas, strategies and          ule during the week of the annual MTNA national
materials. For music teachers, as well as other highly trained    conference. In fact, parents usually respect teachers even
professionals—doctors, clergy, accountants and attorneys—         more when they realize that the decision to block out sever-
ongoing professional development is essential in order to         al days for professional development reflects the teacher’s
remain on top of new ideas and to stay in contact with            strong commitment to her own professional growth and
respected colleagues. Many people consider attendance at          demonstrates a desire to become an even better musician
their profession’s national conference a necessity, not simply    and teacher.
an excuse for a short mid-year vacation. Of course, travel to        Occasionally, however, some parents do need to be edu-
new cities, exploration of new restaurants and renewal of         cated about the concept that you are not merely “giving”
old friendships can be enjoyable fringe benefits of attending     their children a certain number of lessons each month and
conferences, but usually those perks are not the primary          that they are not merely “paying for a specific number of
reasons justifying a teacher’s decision to spend valuable         teacher contact minutes.” If parents are not used to having
time and money for a few days away from the studio.               children study with teachers who participate in professional
   Because independent music teaching is often an isolated        meetings, they may need help in learning to respect the
activity, many teachers find it essential to invest in periodic   fact that their child is studying with a professional teacher
interactions with professional colleagues. Th
								
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