Offering learners a voice: Music teacher named Montgomery County Trainer of the 12 months

Johnathan Dunn been named Montgomery County, Maryland’s Trainer of the Yr.

Offering learners a voice: Music teacher named Montgomery County Trainer of the 12 months
Johnathan Dunn has been named Montgomery County’s Teacher of the Calendar year. (Courtesy Montgomery County General public Educational facilities)

Humbled, elated and astonished. Which is how Sherwood Significant Faculty audio teacher and restorative justice coach Johnathan Dunn describes his response to discovering he’s been named Montgomery County’s Trainer of the Year.

Dunn is swift to give credit to instructors and college personnel throughout the university system, who, like their pupils, have knowledgeable a array of stressors about the past two yrs for the duration of the pandemic.

“Truth be instructed, if you are a instructor who’s manufactured it from August to June in this climate,” Dunn explained. “I feel we’re all deserving of Instructor of the Yr designations at this place.”

College students and personnel returned to faculty eager to find a new usual and worn out from modifying to dealing with anxiety around what Dunn identified as “the dreaded virus” and the social isolation that it imposed.

“I’ll be sincere with you, this has been a demanding two yrs for me,” he explained. Dunn, a father of 4, said he witnessed the issues his own small children confronted, although doing the job to assist his college students get back to what a lot of hoped would be a “new ordinary.”

Dunn, who teaches chorus and piano, encourages pupils of all talents to get involved in the tunes plan, such as a a few-hour audio revue, the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival.” The demonstrate has been a tradition at Sherwood for decades.

As passionate as he is about songs — and that enthusiasm is very clear when Dunn hits the phase with his learners during live shows the music department retains — he’s just as passionate in his job as a coach in the restorative justice application at Sherwood.

“I assume there’s a diploma of grace that’s embedded within the restorative justice system that presents kids an option to thrive,” Dunn reported.

He’s identified for acquiring an open-doorway policy, and he finds joy in looking at progress in his pupils, whether its tutorial or social.

“We cannot, in this weather appropriate now, equip young ones for long term understanding and competency if we basically just drop the hammer each and every time, devoid of offering them a possibility to study from the oversight.”

Supplying a window to a promising long term for his students is a different one particular of his passions. Dunn, who is African American, recalls a initially-grade teacher calling him stupid in front of the overall class. “I’m a 47-12 months-aged person who remembers what that felt like,” he explained.

But later in his faculty vocation, Dunn had the variety of interactions with teachers that would allow him see his very own potential. He explained that his significant school choral director, Dr. Barbara Baker, was the only man or woman of color that he noticed on his musical journey up right up until that time.

He also remembered how his superior faculty piano trainer took him backstage to meet up with the classical pianist André Watts at the Nationwide Symphony Orchestra.

“Those factors had been transformative,” Dunn said, introducing he desires his pupils to have the same options to see a area for by themselves in their selected vocation paths.

“My total philosophy as an educator is to do no harm,” and he would like his students to move by the earth with self esteem, “to just take dangers, to be who they are as an genuine human, and to just appreciate the trip as they do it.”

Dunn has been a instructor at Sherwood Significant University for nine yrs, and has been with the county’s school method for 19 yrs. He’s at the moment winding up his last semester in a master’s degree application in educational management.