EDUCATOR OF THE MONTH
PINEY ORCHARD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
We recognize an educator in our school system who really understands how students learn; and he uses humor, kindness and patience to provide excellent instruction to elementary school girls and boys. He holds high, yet reasonable expectations for his students and encourages them to take risks and try new things. Patrick Alexander, Instrumental Music Teacher at Piney Orchard Elementary School, is a master at providing specific feedback to students, and always seeks to include technology, real-world connections and school improvement strategies into his instruction.
The most amazing aspect of Patrick’s work is that he has developed the instrumental music program to a size that requires him to instruct full time at the school, teaching band and strings. The instrumental music program at Piney Orchard is 215 students strong. In order to provide maximum time for individual instruction and support, he has specifically arranged his schedule so that by choice he has little planning time, because he’d rather spend the time with his students. His students are invited to come during recess and before school to practice and rehearse. He looks for authentic performance opportunities for his students, and accompanies groups of student musicians as they participate in concerts and programs outside the school setting. More evidence of Patrick’s effectiveness is that he retains a large number of those 215 student musicians from year to year.
Everyone loves Mr. Alexander at Piney Orchard! He is a valued member of the school community and known by all students, not just the ones he teaches. Patrick also participates in the student mentoring program. He serves as Master of Ceremonies for many school events, and organizes a school-wide sing along the day before Winter break. Each morning he works with students to produce the morning announcements, and he organizes the entertainment portion of the Volunteer Tea each year. He understands the importance of the home-school-community connection and invites parents to help him with tuning instruments and helping out with winter and spring concerts.
Patrick’s expertise is recognized not just in school, but elsewhere, as he frequently participates in curriculum writing at the county level. He has presented at music in-services for AACPS and participates in adjudicating the auditions for our Performing and Visual Arts schools. He collaborated with colleagues in his school cluster to establish an annual cluster concert for students in grades 3 – 12.
Patrick Alexander – your effectiveness as a teacher and your enthusiasm over seeing your students learn and grow each day are just a few reasons for your recognition today. So on behalf of the Board of Education, the students, teachers and staff in the Piney Orchard community and the entire Anne Arundel County Public Schools, congratulations on being chose Educator of the Month for December 2016!