From the President

by Lisa Schoen & Aimee Newman

May 2021

You Say Goodbye…

Lisa Schoen
Lisa Schoen (MN)
2020-2021 President

It’s hard to believe my time as the SWEA President has come to a close. Thank you for the opportunity to lead the SongWorks Educators Association! I am extremely proud of how we SongWorks teachers have handled these challenging months, some of the toughest in our organization’s history. We have used the many skills we developed during our unusual teaching year to reach out, encourage one another, continue sharing SongWorks strategies, and help our organization thrive.

During my presidency, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with so many wonderful people, who steadily and generously volunteer their time, energy, and talents to ensure that the SongWorks Educators Association runs smoothly and effectively. And more than ever, I am so appreciative of the wisdom of the past presidents and founding members of our organization, in whom I have found endless support. Thank you to the individuals and committees, organizers and leaders, presenters and teachers, the Board, and the Presidential Team for all the good work they have done this year! A special thank you to Aimee Newman, our incoming President, for the incredible amount of time and energy she spent to bring our first ever virtual conference to fruition. And what a conference it was! I know that Aimee’s confidence, grace, and creativity will serve us well in the year ahead.

I have found it immensely gratifying to have been a part of the inner workings of SWEA. Not only have I had the chance to further the work of our organization, but I have had the opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally as a result. If you are considering becoming more involved, please know that there is a place for you to use your gifts and talents! Our organization lives and thrives because of members like you, who are doing the important work of teaching, learning, and leading. We are nearing the end of a school year like no other. Although we have not been unscathed, we have perhaps grown stronger and more resilient, more creative, adaptable, and wise, and more compassionate toward others and toward ourselves. Let’s hang on tight and finish well. The beautiful days of summer, and the refreshment and rejuvenation that are sure to come with them, are just around the corner.

Lisa Schoen

You say yes, I say no,
You say stop, and I say go, go, go, oh no.

You say goodbye and I say hello, hello, hello,
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello, hello, hello,
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello.

…And I Say Hello!

Aimee Newman (CO)
2021-2022 President

I am still savoring the joyful and fulfilling experience of our virtual conference! I hope that you were able to connect with each other, as well as gather many ideas for your classroom from our incredible presenters. I know that many of you have visited the AccelEvents website to rewatch sessions and access handouts. My hope is those sessions will continue to inspire and enrich your teaching, even as we come to the end of the toughest year of teaching many of us have ever experienced. It was invigorating to see many of our Japanese colleagues, who joined us at all hours of their day! I am so thrilled that we were able to connect to so many countries in one setting! It truly blows my mind. We had participants from Japan, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, and Hong
Kong, and many states from the U.S. were also represented! WOW! While we were physically apart, technology allowed us to be present together in those moments.

On May 8th, the AccelEvents site for our conference closed, but fear not, the session recordings, handouts, and resources will soon be available on the SongWorks Educators Association website under the Members Access section. If you are not currently a member, there is no better time than the present to join!

I also want to encourage you to check out our certification courses that are happening this summer, in Wisconsin, Utah, and Texas! Our SongWorks Certification Executive Director, Betty Phillips, has been working hard to make these courses so meaningful to your teaching! I highly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity that these courses provide. They have truly changed my teaching, and have made my classroom a place of joy and excited learning!

Lastly, I want to thank Lisa Schoen for her thoughtful leadership as our President this past year! Her calm grace and confidence in the face of a cancelled conference while leading our organization in the midst of a pandemic have truly been inspirational! Thank you, Lisa!

As we sprint toward the end of this teaching year, despite all the challenges it has presented, I want to encourage all of you: You are exactly what your students need right now! Be courageous, create joy in your classroom, and make your way to the finish line knowing that you are enough!

Be Well!

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