Dr. Mark Reimer Award Winning Teacher & Preparing for Your First Day of the School Year – August 2014

Included in this blog are Dr. Frank’s, “10 Creative Ways to Inspire Students & Curb Teachers Burn Out!” Also included are articles by Harry and Rosemary Wong, Mrs. I, and a student survey on what characteristics make a good teacher. Our interview and Radio Show celebrate the work of Dr. Mark Reimer an award winning teacher.

Radio Show feature question for August 2014: Dr. Mark Reimer how does Classical music play a part of your life as an Award Winning Teacher & Mentor and what instruments do you play? http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/one-minute-radio-show-2014/

Dr. Frank’s, “10 Creative Ways to Inspire Students & Curb Teachers Burn Out!”

  1. Effective teachers and administrators agree to have an assignment on the board for students to start on the second they walk into the new classroom. “A well-planned lesson eliminates 90% of discipline problems.”  “Before your first day of school have your “First Day of School Script” ready with the “Procedures” you will use for your class and implement them by rehearsing your class until all the students know your procedures and understand them.  *Example: What is your procedure for students having a cell phone in class?   -In your “Procedures” include Mrs. Hamilton’s definition of “Character”. “Character is knowing the right thing to do, doing the right thing even when no one is watching, and taking the consequences for what you do. The first step to develop character from the First Day of School is to teach that definition, and challenge students to build walls of character around themselves in the weeks ahead.” Remember to decide your rule for each of your procedures and teach them to your class on the first day of school. Harry K. Wong and Rosemary Wong’s book “How to be an Effective Teacher the First Days of School” is a must read for all teachers’.

Here are a few of the Wong’s articles:

“Effective teaching”http://teachers.net/wong/FEB09/       For Elementary School Routines & Procedure Power PT. click on middle of the page for power pt.)

“A First Day of School Script” http://teachers.net/wong/JUN00/

“Teaching Procedures is Teaching Expectations” says, H. & R. Wong http://teachers.net/wong/JUN02/

“Stress Free Teacher” (Middle School)http://teachers.net/wong/FEB02/

Middle School/High School script: http://teachers.net/wong/MAR03/page_2.html

The Wong’s say “The First Five Minutes are Critical”: http://teachers.net/wong/NOV00/ 

Have your smile in place, your student’s seat assignments ready, and your first assignment on the board for the students to get started immediately after sitting down and have your classical music on in the background. * School starts the first minute the students enter for the new school year. Be prepared! Start preparing and rehearsing this summer. Remember students need to feel safe and secure! They need rules.

  1. Before the first day of school decide how you are to dress for success in bright colors to get your students attention. Remember first impressions are the most important.
  2. Do you remember the middle school and high school Chemistry and Math teachers playing Classical Mozart Symphonies in the background of their classes and how much better behaved and smarter the students became? Well you can do this too! Put on your Classical music and help your students get smarter, work faster, and calmer.
  3. Don’t just lecture tell a story. Make the material visual. Be creative by becoming a teaching artist! Example: Dr. Madeline Frank’s “Musical Notes On Math”, teaching fractions and decimals to children in K-5 through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent-to-Parent Adding Wisdom Award. http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/musical-notes-on-math
  4. Make your course come alive. Make it fun to learn. Remember that Alicia Keys and Dr. Condoleezza Rice both studied the piano learning Classical music and skipping grades in high school. They were both at the top of their high school classes all through school because they played Classical music every day. Playing Classical music made them smarter! Dr. Albert Einstein was able to win his Noble Peace Prize and make his scientific discoveries by playing Classical music on his violin or piano every day. Dr. Judith Resnik astronaut and electrical engineer made perfect scores on her SAT’s through playing her Classical piano music every day for one hour. Louis Armstrong learned Classical music on his cornet at age 13 and his life was changed forever! Your students can be smarter too by playing Classical music every day!
  5. Involve your students in your course by posing a problem and helping them solve it! Make them into detectives. (Sherlock Holmes and his side kick Dr. Watson) Help your students work cooperatively. (In a musical String Quartet members work together cooperatively with set goals and without violence.) Put on your Classical music to help your students concentrate better. Dr. Mark Reimer & Mrs. Adlyn Reimer said to “Set the tone from the beginning—your class/rehearsal style is fun, informative, and fast moving, and everyone there is important to you.”
  6. Help your students gain self-esteem and self-worth by showing them kindness & patience.
  7. Romayne Leader Frank, Mother, friend, Family Advocate, teacher, & Lawyer, always said, “Every child has one gift.” Find that gift and accentuate it!
  8. Dr. Frank’s favorite saying is “every student is a gem in the raw.” Start with that thought and work with your students. Believe that each of your students, on the first day of school, wants to learn your course and desires to learn.
  9. Does anyone here like to work? No, then make it fun to learn. Put on your Classical music! © 2014 Madeline Frank

Remember on your First Day To:

Have your Classical music on your CD or iPod before your students enter your class to improve their concentration , for them to stay focused, relaxed, work faster, and remember more.

On your first day of work or school have your materials ready…paper, pencils, pens, notebooks, and calculators.

Be prepared! Be on time! Don’t be late! Have a smile on your face and put your best foot forward!

Classical music has the power to organize the brain while listening to it as background music while you are doing your homework, to help you relax after a hard day of work or while doing exercises. Begin listening or playing your musical instrument for 30 minutes at a time. It helps because of its highly developed mathematics and therefore exercises the brain as physical exercise exercises the body.

Our blog features Dr. Mark Reimer, 2011 recipient of the “Alumni Society Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring”, winner of “The John Philip Sousa Band Award, the Director of Christopher Newport University’s Department of Music for over 20 years, conductor of the CNU Wind Ensemble, and teacher of undergraduate and graduate conducting and wind literature courses.

Dr. Reimer has four generations of teachers in his family. He said, “My great, great, grandfather, father of my great grandfather taught school in Germany and later served on the school board in Walnut, Iowa. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, also taught school as did several of my aunts and uncles and my mother’s brother who was a professor and head of engineering at the University of Illinois.”

Dr. Reimer is a second-generation musician with his two sisters and his Mom played the piano and his Dad sang. Dr. Reimer conducted the “CNU’s Wind Ensembles on international tours across Europe and this year the CNU Wind Ensemble became the first American college band to tour all three Baltic States.”  He frequently serves as guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician in the United States and abroad. Dr. Reimer is passionate about teaching music and bringing out the best of each of his students.

I worked with Dr. Reimer when I was the Conductor of the CNU Orchestra and teaching strings at CNU.

Mark Reimer’s Growing Up Years:

Mark Reimer was born in Atlantic, Iowa to Orville Reimer and Adlyn Deere Reimer in a small community of around 5,000 people that is located in the cornfields of southwestern Iowa. Mark says, “My father Orville Reimer was one of 14 children who grew up as a typical farm kid during the great depression. My father drove a truck for a cattle feed company. My mother, Adlyn Deere Reimer, was one of two children, who taught elementary school and served for a few years as a Principal. As outgoing as my mother was my father was just the opposite.”

Dr. Frank:  “Did your parents study and play a musical instrument?”

Dr. Reimer: “My Father loved to sing, although he never pursued his talent. My Mother had studied piano briefly, but her interests were really in English literature and theater. However, both parents had the highest appreciation of music education and wanted their children to be active participants in the school bands and choirs.”

Dr. Frank:  “Do you have any siblings and did they play musical instruments?”

Dr. Reimer:  “I have two older sisters. One played flute and the other played French horn, and both performed in school bands and choirs. All three of us took several years of piano lessons. Neither sister, unfortunately, pursued music as a career.”

Dr. Frank:  “When did you begin studying and playing a musical instrument, how old were you, and what grade were you in?   What was your first musical instrument?”

Dr. Reimer: “I begged my Mother when I was in the fourth grade to let me take piano lessons. –My sister, on the other hand, was begging my Mother to let her stop taking piano lessons! In the summer after sixth grade, the time when the band began, the Band Director talked me into playing Tuba, saying that it was the most important instrument in the Band. Naturally, I felt as if I were “The Chosen One”. I studied with the Director, who was also a Tuba player, privately throughout middle and high school and eventually won positions in both the Iowa All-State Band and The McDonald’s All –American High School Band.”

Dr. Frank: “ Were you a good student in elementary school, middle school, and in high school?”

Dr. Reimer: “Yes. Being the son of a schoolteacher, the expectations for me were high. I earned mostly “A” grades, although this was before the time of AP and Honors courses. I graduated with the highest GPA of male graduates and was inducted into the National Honor Society as a junior. I was also named “Outstanding Senior Boy” and received “The John Philip Sousa Band Award”

Dr. Frank: “What were you favorite subjects?”

Dr. Reimer: “My favorite courses, naturally, were band and choir, although I really enjoyed Spanish. I served as President of the Spanish Club and History Club. I loved being able to communicate in another language and to learn another culture.”

Dr. Frank: “Did you do well in math and science when you were in elementary, middle, school, high school?”

Dr. Reimer: “I was pretty good through Algebra, but Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus were very challenging for me. I enjoyed Biology, for it seemed to have a more “real world application” than did the drier subjects of Physics and math. And it was more interesting to me to deal with living people and creatures than logic and formulas.”

Dr. Frank: “Did you have a favorite teacher who inspired you?”

Dr. Reimer: “My best teacher was my Mother who was also my primary teacher in the sixth grade. She was determined to involve all the students in her class in discussions over the material and had no tolerance for disrespect or behavior of superiority. She was highly engaging during her classes and treated her students as young adults who had something important to offer. And she was successful. Her classes often earned the top scores in the state of “Iowa Tests of Basic Skills”. She simply loved to teach.”

Dr. Frank: “Where did you attend college and graduate school and what was your major and minor degrees in? Did any of your college professors inspire you?”

Dr. Reimer: “I attended Drake University as a music education major. Tuba was my major instrument, and voice was my minor. My Band Director, Don Marcouillier, was a highly personable and energetic man who held his bands to high standards and who had conducted over 25 “All-State Bands”. Being from a small town, it was really humbling to be around peers who had come from cities and seemed to be a lot more sophisticated than I.”

“Upon graduating, “Most Outstanding Music Major” by the faculty, I went on to the Cincinnati College-Conservatory where I earned a Master of Music degree in Conducting. I really came to enjoy all that such a large city had to offer and also began to feel like a professional musician, being around high profile faculty and highly determined students. I then started a doctorate at Indiana University but put it on hold after receiving a job offer to teach in Virginia Beach. I really didn’t know if I wanted to be a “Band Director” or a Tuba player, for I loved both worlds. By the time I finished the doctorate at Indiana University, I was the recipient of their first “Doctorate in Wind Conducting”, I was really more interested in music in general than with wind bands in particular.”

Dr. Frank: “Did you always want to be a teacher?

Dr. Reimer: “Yes, I always wanted to be in music and, since high school, always wanted to conduct. I love the art and challenge of creating, Perhaps more ‘recreating” ensemble music and delving into sounds, textures, and meanings. I guess it is really the music that inspires me and drives me to inspire players to reach their highest potential.”

Dr. Frank: “When did you begin Conducting wind ensemble orchestras? While in college or earlier in high school?”

Dr. Reimer: “I was chosen to be one of two drum majors when I was only a sophomore in high school and was by myself the final two years. I took private conducting lessons as an undergraduate and also choral and orchestra conducting lessons to get a better sense of these genres. I was a church Choir Director my last two years at Drake, and this experience gave me much needed confidence in working with people of varying age, talent, and interest. It also taught me how to plan rehearsals, organize events, and recruit. Of course the real test was my first job as a “High School Band Director”- A very competitive school whose priority was on the marching band more than the concert ensembles. Needless to say, I turned that around by the time I left.”

Dr. Frank: “Tell us about your receiving the 2011“Alumni Society Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring”.

Dr. Reimer: “In my opinion, this is the most meaningful award one can receive, for all faculty, I would hope, would think of themselves as teachers first and scholars second. As I told The Alumni Society last year, I feel that such an award should be a sort of “Lifetime Achievement” recognition, for one matures in both craft and temperament over the years. There is no shortage of good teachers, but it just takes time to see who actually changed lives and programs. The most rewarding moments are when former students reflect on their years of training and realize the impact that you had on their lives. My guess is that it’s similar to when a child finally realizes the impact that their parents, grandparents, and others had on shaping their values and beliefs.”

Dr. Frank: “What is your philosophy on teaching?”

Dr. Reimer: “It goes back to why I admired my mother, Adlyn Deere Reimer as a teacher. There is no standard formula for effective teaching — successful teachers are as different as the students they teach. But there appear to be two common denominators among all of the best teachers who have taught me. They include a strong knowledge of the subject and an even stronger, almost insatiable, desire that students learn. I believe role models who inspire others can make students receptive to learning while helping them meet — and often exceed — teachers ‘high expectations. As a student, I expected my teachers to work their hardest to get the best out of me; as a faculty member, I work my hardest to draw the best out of my students. In this process, everyone is important, and everyone deserves to be held to the highest standards.”

Dr. Reimer:  On your  first day of school: “Set the tone from the beginning—your class/rehearsal style is fun, informative, and fast moving, and everyone there is important to you.”

Dr. Frank: “Does CNU have any available scholarships for talent musicians whose parents, grandparents, or teachers will be reading this interview?”

Dr. Reimer: “Yes. Our audience should check out MUSIC.CNU.EDU, connecting them to the Ferguson Center For The Arts and, of course all the events happening right here on the campus.”

The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. Click on the link: http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/the-secret-of-teaching-science-and-math-through-music/

“Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award. For more information click on the following link: http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/musical-notes-on-math/

For Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math” click on the following link: http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/pg47.pdf

Mrs. I, a fourth grade teacher, lists below how she used Dr. Frank’s creative tips from “The Teacher’s 11 Secrets to Success” and “10 Secrets to Stop Students Boredom, Inspire Them & Make Them Smarter” during her August-Dec. 2008 public school classes.”

  1. Mrs. I began preparing for her new students, a month before the semester began, by studying their files, to more effectively deal with their problems.
  2. On the very first day of school, students were informed about procedures and practiced them.
  3. Mrs. I dressed appropriately and at times dressed to reflect the theme of the lesson or story.
  4. Mrs. I prepared daily so that time was spent on learning activities and not preparation during school time.
  5. She encourages her students to do well and gives examples that students can relate to of why it is important to do well and stay in school.
  6. Students know that Mrs. I take’s an interest in them and tries to see the good in each student and looks for positive things to say about her students.
  7. Classical music is played. This helps students quiet down, stay calm, and focus more on their work with fewer distractions. They really enjoy the Classical music and ask for it.
  8. Students are spoken to in private, concerning behavioral issues and are not embarrassed in front of other students.
  9. Cooperative learning groups and differentiation are used in the classroom. Students get to be a part of completing tasks successfully as a group in a fun but challenging atmosphere.
  10. Articulation, inflection, and timing are encouraged when reading and when learning key phrases and clues.

Mrs. I says, “That by using Dr. Frank’s tips, a classroom environment is created where students want to come to school. They enjoy learning, and every child finds a measure of success.”

A recent survey asked public school students in grades 5-12, what characteristics make a good teacher?

Many students said a good teacher “is passionate about their subject, has the intelligence to inspire students to learn by keeping the class material fresh and interesting by making the class seem to go by faster and getting all the students involved.”

A good teacher “listens and cares about their students never raising their voice and is willing to help any student who needs help.”

A good teacher “thoroughly explains the subject matter is always patient and never makes fun of any student. A good teacher has a good sense of humor and tells good jokes to help teach the material.”

Madeline Frank, Ph.D. an Amazon. Com Best Selling author for “The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” and “Musical Notes On Math“(teaching fractions and decimals to children K-5) winner of the Parent-to-Parent Adding Wisdom Award.         www.madelinefrankviola.com

For over 25 years, Dr. Madeline Frank has helped children and adults overcome problems through Classical music. Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award winning teacher, author, researcher, speaker and concert artist. For over 25 years she has helped children and adults overcome problems through music. She has found a scientific link between studying and/or listening to musical instruments and academic and societal success.

Madeline Frank earned her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Her education has included scholarships at the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the University of Cincinnati and she has a violin performance diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. (C) 2014 Madeline Frank.

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