Story by Rachel Tabler, NDDPI assistant director of the Office of Education Improvement & Support
Education has always been a fast-changing system, even more so in the last few years. Recently the education system has made great shifts in the way that students and teachers interact with curriculum and learning in general. It is inspiring and admirable to witness how many teachers have taken this shift in stride.
Tim Hines, a music education teacher at Dunseith Elementary School, is one of these teachers who has made the shift. He sees how his students are reaping the benefits of his hard work and dedication to meet their needs while inspiring growth and individual excellence. As a music instructor, he is passionate about fine arts. His classroom greets you with a plethora of musical instruments, risers, technology, and a multitude of decorations that reference different genres and decades of music. However, his passion for student engagement and academic success is even more evident.
Hines works diligently with each grade level team to figure out how he can incorporate what students are learning academically into his music class. Once the music has been selected, he takes the time to create PowerPoints of the lyrics that he displays on multiple screens so students can easily follow along. In many cases, especially for younger students, he has gone a step further and made sure to highlight high-frequency words within the lyrics so students are aware that these are words that they should know and practice. Students can follow along while Hines controls the technology, sings along, and plays guitar.
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction personnel had the privilege of visiting Dunseith Elementary and were able to watch Hines instruct a music lesson for his third graders. It was inspirational to watch the combination of passion, academics, and student engagement merge. Hines has been able to create an environment for learning and celebration that supports a respectful and welcoming culture for all students within his classroom. He works hard to combine his passion for music with the academic needs of his students. Students are not only engaged in fine arts activities when they walk into his room, but they are also working on mastery of academic and technical standards.