Elizabeth Hering, the new teacher at McNary High School, tells how she moved to Oregon from Michigan to start teaching here at Keizer.
Elizabeth Hering comes from across the country to become McNary’s new group teacher.
When COVID-19 hit, many of us changed our lives in different ways, from choosing a new hobby or starting a new job. Elizabeth Hering, a new teacher at McNary High School, made a more drastic change, deciding to quit her job in Michigan after 21 years and move to Oregon after feeling she needed to do something new. .
“I was in a transition phase of my life. The pandemic had kind of turned everything upside down and I felt like this had to be the year I made a change, ”Hering said.
Hering began looking for available jobs in Michigan and Oregon, where she found McNary High School was looking for a new group teacher. After considering the position further, she felt that this would be the ideal solution.
“I see how children, when they spend four years in a group, develop and become adults. Much of this is affected by the life skills, leadership skills, teamwork skills, and bonding and unity that is achieved in a music class. Looks like in McNary it’s a school-wide culture, so I’m really excited to be in a school that values that kind of community, unity and commitment to kids ” , Hering said.
McNary High School encourages students to get involved in activities outside of academics, with many different sports and clubs being offered. Hering liked to see students engaged in the community and felt that students who are not so involved often end up missing out on many opportunities.
The move from Michigan to Oregon, however, presented some issues for the marching band. The marching band starts training in May or June, but didn’t start until August. Hering didn’t even have a chance to watch the music until it completely moved to Oregon.
The first soccer game was on September 3, which meant students had to work quickly to learn all the music on time. In a few weeks, they managed to learn everything and perform.
Another problem has been the COVID restrictions. Students are socially distanced in the group room and must have a bell on their instruments, which can alter the sound of the instruments.
“We can’t get the dynamics that we would have without the bells and on some wind instruments there are notes that get really hard to play, but the safety factor is worth it,” Hering said.
Hering noted that she would continue to follow COVID guidelines and adjust student audio accordingly.
Through all the challenges so far, Hering’s top priority is creating a comfortable and safe environment for his students.
“In my classes it is very important that it is a safe place for the children. They have to be somewhat emotionally vulnerable to be able to play music in front of each other, “Hering said.” We have to build that relationship between the kids and then also between me and the kids so that they can get along. feel safe to play, learn and grow as musicians in the classroom. “