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Professional Development Plan In order to develop a good professional development plan, it helps to take stock of my previous accomplishments and assess my strengths and weaknesses. These assessments will enable Walden University to place me with a mentor suitable for me. In addition, looking at the accomplishments at the same time will enable me to realize what areas I need to focus on in order to succeed in the doctoral program. With this in mind, I would like to address coursework in the Social and behavioral science. I have not had any coursework in the social nor the behavioral sciences. I am aware that had I had previous experience in these areas, it might have helped me with my dissertation since societal issues is a major portion of the dissertation. As far as academic coursework in other fields, I have extensive training in music and music education since this is my field of teaching. In addition to the coursework I accumulated in my undergraduate studies, I did training at the graduate level also leading me to my first Masters degree; MA in music education. Within this degree, I had numerous courses in music theory, problem solving in the music classroom and modern movement in the arts. I focused the better of my graduate time focusing on the study of opera, mainly opera of the Renaissance and Baroque time periods. I also had courses in counseling theories and techniques of interviewing and counseling. I was at one time planning to pursue a degree in student counseling, but instead decided to focus on educational leadership. I have much training in academic coursework relating to Supervision and Administration since this is the area of my second master’s degree (M.Ed). Within this degree, I had courses in
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curriculum development, school finance, school law, cultural foundations in education, Computer applications in educational administration, administration in the elementary school and introduction to research and educational statistics. I have had some experience with professional presentations, seminars and workshops. Within my school, during one of our professional development days, I did a presentation to other teachers on the use of music in other subjects, mainly science and mathematics. I also did a workshop for the entire music faculty within my district on using music to enhance memory within other academic courses. In 1997 I did a presentation to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra by supplying lesson plans for public schools that were designed to teach the music that was being performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 1997. I have had many volunteer activities, some which are related to my field and some which are not. My major volunteer activity is the church choir and tenor leader. I have been involved in church choir for almost 15 years in three different parishes. I also am a member of the Holy Men Society and the Knights Of Columbus. Both organizations are deeply involved in charity activities. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, we would hold many charitable activities to raise money for various venues. Our biggest activity is the pancake breakfast which we hold 4 times a year. In addition, we have flower sales, and sales of gift coupons to a local supermarket. In 1989, when I taught in the South Bronx, New York City, I participated as a member of the restructuring committee creating a “Musical Styles” curriculum of fifty-seven lesson plans in five units to be used in Intermediate and Senior High Schools throughout District seven.
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I had the opportunity to experience designing and executing research. In 1996, I was awarded the Arts Genesis Grant, funded by HUD (Housing and Urban Development). With this award, I researched the rhythmic ability between African-American and Hispanic students in grades one, two, and three. I then reported my research in an article that is published by our district in their monthly newsletter. I also experienced designing and executing research in 1997 when I was honored the New Jersey Symphony Master Teacher’s Collaborative award (Funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation). The purpose of this award was to allow the teachers that were chosen throughout the state to work with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in preparing lesson plans that teachers can use in the classroom relating to the music of the season that the NJSO was performing. There were 12 teachers chosen amongst hundreds across the state. These lesson plans were discussed with the orchestra and then submitted in a book format and disseminated to all music teachers throughout the state of New Jersey. Another volunteer activity I was associated with was being appointed conductor and coordinator of the 1995 and 1996 All City Orchestra. This was a huge undertaking but was very rewarding at the end when we performed in front of hundreds of friends and family throughout Jersey City. Being a member of the Pupil Assistance Committee was a rewarding volunteer activity. The PAC’s purpose was the responsibility for the assistance of staff members in designing, coordinating, and monitoring with the peers intervention strategies that are effective for students within traditional classroom setting prior to referral to the Child Study Team. Each student that was PACed was given a work plan that lasted 6 to 8 weeks. If no progress was made, then the
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child was forwarded to the Child Study Team for further testing and possible placement into a special education setting. Being a member of this committee was purely a volunteer position. For four years 1992-1996, I served as the head of the “Cluster” choral music festival for Division “B” schools which I initiated in 1992. Our district at that time was divided into two districts, A and B. I initiated and coordinated a choral festival for our division. It ended in 1996 when there was a change of administration and the music festival became something of a lesser importance. It was around this time that our school began to fail in the state testing, and the principal removed all extra-curricular activities. One of my strong accomplishments was the designing of half-time shows for two of the Jersey City High Schools. I took on this responsibility with no pay. It was a passion of mine to work with marching bands. I have been involved in marching bands since my freshman year in high school and was still at the time of writing the half-time shows, marching with professional drum and bugle corps. My volunteering was no longer needed when the marching band programs were removed from the high school programs. I had the opportunity to serve as the chairman of the curriculum committee for the Fine and Performing Arts in 1993, 1999, and again in 2008. As chairman, I advised four other members of the curriculum committee to revise the current curriculum to fit with the guidelines being set forth by New Jersey and had to be realigned to match the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. I respectively removed myself from the 2008 position to spend time working on my doctorate. I felt the work would be overwhelming and I did not want to judge my academic quality of work with Walden University.
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Experiencing designing and executing research is an area of weakness for me. The only research I experienced was in the areas of music education and educational leadership. I did take a course in research seminar during my graduate studies. In publications and other writing experiences I have had several. The first experience I had was one that I recently mentioned when I wrote the “Musical Styles” curriculum while working in the South Bronx. I also had experience writing curriculum as mentioned before, both in 1993 and 1999. And lastly, my research on rhythmic studies amongst African-American students and Hispanic Students in grades one, two, and three was published in the Jersey City Public Schools monthly newsletter. Teaching Assignments: My first experience teaching was in the South Bronx in New York City. It was here I created the 57 lesson plans (Musical Styles) and purchased electronic keyboards to enhance current music curriculum and created an electronic music program for students in grades five and six. I also instituted a daily morning music exercise for the entire student body prior to arriving to homeroom. My second teaching experience was in an urban district in New Jersey where I enhanced ethnically diverse children’s appreciation and understanding of classical music by creating lesson plans that explored similarities with contemporary music. I also launched a successful string program that performed for various social functions. My third teaching experience which is where I have been for the last 18 years and is also an urban district in New Jersey is where I developed myself and grew into being the professional and educated person that I am today. It was during my tenure here in Jersey City that I
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accomplished most of what I have mentioned above such as, the “Cluster” choral festival, designing the half-time shows for the two high schools, appointed as conductor and coordinator for the 1995 and 1996 all city orchestra, recipient of the Arts Genesis Grant funded by HUD, recipient of the New Jersey Symphony Master Teacher’s Collaborative, member of the PAC committee, chairman of the curriculum committee and mentoring two newly hired music specialists within our district. My professional training was done at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania and was a very well designed program. I had extensive courses in music theory, history and aurals. In addition, I had a lot of preparation for teaching by taking numerous courses in teaching methods and student teaching for a semester. I then continued my training by completing my masters degree in music education at Montclair State University. My academic strengths lie in the fact that I am very well versed in the field of music and the teaching of music to elementary students. I have had experience in teaching according to the philosophies of Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Suzuki. My weaknesses lie in being able to teach the music of today and tie it in with traditional music. I find it very difficult to teach musical concepts using music the students listen to; what I call “Street Music”. My research strengths is best in the fact that I know how to do computer research in addition to traditional library research. I am knowledgeable in using the Library of Congress and the Dewey Decimal System of research. I also know how to use the Boolean system of research I Don’t feel I possess any weakness in research.
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The only availability of library, reference, and information technology resources that I have is my county library and the Walden’s library. In addition, my wife works for Baker and Taylor Book Distributor and has access to any book that is published.