Teacher Appreciation Week: Sabrina LaPointe at Jackson Heights

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 Sabrina LaPointe—one of the most dynamic teachers around our district.

Happy music teacher playing the ukelele in an elementary classroom with the Teacher Appreciation Week graphic


Mrs. Sabrina LaPointe graduated from Lake George Jr/Sr High School, and went on to get her Bachelors Degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia, and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has have been teaching music for 20 years, and this is her sixth year in Glens Falls. She also teaches professional development courses for arts educators through the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center.

What makes your teaching and learning environment unique?
My philosophy for teaching elementary music is “learning through play”. When children are having fun and are fully immersed in an activity, they are learning so much more than if they just listen to me talk. I use a variety of approaches to engage my students – games, puppets, ribbon wands and stretchy bands are a few examples. Music is alive and active, so the children learning about it should be, too!

enthusiastic music teacher leads elementary students in waving colorful scarves to the beat of a tune
Sabrina LaPointe teaches music at Jackson Heights Elementary School

Why do you think it’s important to teach the way you do?
Elementary aged children are naturally drawn to imagination and play. It’s part of their personalities, part of who they are as people. Teaching with this in mind shows my students that it is okay to be themselves and take positive risks. Another added bonus is that they are learning about more than just music. Through our activities children are learning to share, to take turns, to be kind to others, and to accept everyone. It’s my belief that every person involved in a child’s education is responsible for helping them to become kind, positive people who will make a real difference in our world.

Describe your best lesson ever, or one you and students really enjoy.
A fun lesson we do every year has to do with Star Wars! Each spring we learn about the famous composer John Williams. He wrote the score for so many of our favorite movies – Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, E.T. and more. In 4th grade music, we listen to the Star Wars theme and learn about how Williams uses the music to help tell the story of the movie. We also compare it to other movie theme songs he has written, to see if we can find any similarities. But the real fun comes when we get out the glow sticks – our light sabers! While listening to the song again, we turn off the lights and perform a glow stick routine that matches the form of the music. It’s always a 4th grade favorite!

I love teaching all of my classes, but I have a particular fondness for chorus. It’s so rewarding watching our 4th graders grow from September to their first concert in December, and then on into the spring. They grow as musicians but they also grow in confidence, self esteem and teamwork. Watching them shine up on the risers is so fulfilling for me!

What’s the best thing about GF Nation?
I am blessed to teach over 400 students here in GF Nation! I think the best thing about Glens Falls is that we are a family. Administration, teachers, staff, and parents all work together to make our schools the best they can be. When one of our own needs support, we rally around them and do everything we can to help.

Elementary music teacher singing and reading a book in school