Glens Falls City School District recognizes national Teacher Appreciation Week by highlighting committed and enthusiastic teachers from every one of our schools each day of the week! Read on for an inside interview with Jeremy Bouteiller—one of the most dynamic teachers around our district.
Recognizing our outstanding educators in GF Nation: Wednesday, 5.8.19
Jeremy Bouteiller: Band Teacher, Glens Falls High School
1) What do you do to engage your students? What makes your teaching and learning environment unique?
I think my learning environment is really unique. In a lot of classes, students are expected to remain quiet for most of the class. Band on the other hand, the whole goal is to make organized sound in a large group. Many students tell me it’s an awesome way to start their day and they enjoy it because it’s something completely different from everything else they do in the building. With the high school ensembles being 1st period, I always try to keep rehearsals fun, fast-paced, and positive so that they continue their school day on a good note.
2) Why do you think it’s important to teach the way you do?
I think it’s important to really connect with students – In rehearsals, we are tackling really subtle details, complicated emotional content, etc. And if the students don’t have a buy in, or reason to care, it’s not going to go very well. In the bigger picture, I really try to make music connect to their daily lives and teach them concepts that can stay with them for years. My goal is to make music a life long exploration.
3) What do you feel is the most exciting thing about teaching?
The part of my job I really enjoy is watching students grow and develop into young adults. I’m lucky in that I get the same students for multiple years, so I’m really able to get to know each individual and watch them grow both as musicians, as well as human beings. It’s amazing to watch the progression of a student pick up an instrument for the first time in 4th grade, and then to be able to see them performing really complicated pieces and concepts by the time they get into the high school.
4) Describe your best lesson ever.
I’m not sure it’s my BEST lesson, but I’ve really enjoyed teaching An American Elegy by Frank Ticheli to my high school students this past year. It’s a piece written in honor of those who lost their lives in the Columbine High School mass shooting in 1999. It’s a gorgeous piece of music and students really take the subject matter to heart. It creates a highly emotional experience for both the audience as well as all the musicians performing. We played it 3 years ago, and it meant so much to the current seniors, that they had me sign a contract stating we’d play it again because it meant that much to them.
5) Tell us a little more about yourself.
I graduated from Guilderland High School in 2004, and then attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where I got my Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2008. I have a Master of Music in Music Performance from Youngstown State University (Class of 2010). This is year #9 for me as a teacher, all at Glens Falls (4 years elementary, 5 years MS/HS).