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“from the new music teacher…”

December 21, 2015 , , , , , , , , , ,


This is an article I wrote for the Pulteney Weekly Review, the first article I have written for the school.

“From The New Music Teacher…”

And silently in my head; And I hope you know what you guys have signed up for!

From The New Music Teacher: The Article [Text]

You know the opening credits of Mr Bean, where he lands in a new environment and then runs around trying to find his bearings, arms flailing, look of wide-eyed terror? That’s how I felt, and probably looked, in my first few weeks at Pulteney. Starting in Week 8 of Term 1 is a privilege that I would not wish on anyone, yet I could not have been more supported, welcomed, and whole-heartedly embraced by a community. With no time for opening credits or staff inductions, it was straight to business with music classes and ensembles from Year 6 to 12, a Year 11 pastoral care group, and all the concerts and events that came with these groups.


With each day came new discoveries, new faces, new understandings…and many, many failures in the name of learning. For example, in my second official week of teaching, I released my Year 8 Music class 20 minutes early, and then had to chase them through the school and finish the lesson in the middle of the quadrangle…as a parent tour group calmly walked passed…”Yes, I’m the new, OTHER, Music teacher…”


Now, in the middle of Term 3, on a pontoon after an epic few weeks of concerts and competitions, I take time to express my thanks and gratitude to the Pulteney community for welcoming me and supporting me through this year. The community spirit at Pulteney is so strong and secure that the moment I walked into my teaching role, I noticed it immediately…in the parent support groups, in the school events, and in the way other staff and students relate to one another. It’s a healthy and affirming environment to be.


I thank Kym Wilson and Ali O’Connell for their unwavering support of me, and constantly getting me up to speed; and the team of instrumental teachers for their limitless work and care that they pour into the music students, which allows them to flourish in the ensembles I direct. I thank the Pulteney staff for their whole-hearted support of me, with some even making the effort to visit me in the Music Centre to welcome me in those first few frantic weeks. I thank the leadership teams across the whole school, in Prep, Middle and Senior Schools, as I have the very unique responsibility of teaching across almost the entire cohort of students. With their compassion and deep understanding of their students, I have been able to build an understanding of my classes to be able to teach effectively, as I developed my own rapport with my classes.


Most of all, I thank the students I teach. I am overwhelmed with gratitude at how you have handled an unusual and sudden change of teacher. Here, I particularly acknowledge my Year 11 and 12 students, who have embraced me as a teacher and trusted me enough to lean into my teaching in their very important senior years of study, without question, just a genuine desire for excellence in learning.


The joy I have experienced working with you each day, getting to know your personalities, and making new musical discoveries has been truly wonderful for me. There is a genuine curiosity and desire to learn in our students, and I am privileged to be able to work with classes who are willing to take a risk, be innovative, and embrace new challenges.

I look forward to continuing to help you grow, musically, academically, and personally, in whatever way I am able.

With spots, stripes, and ridiculous amounts of colour!

Ms Annie Kwok


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