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Teacher finds her groove


October 12, 2021 Nolana Wieclaw, Special to the ATA News


New assignment brings apprehension then joyful expression for 20-year veteran


I am a teacher. Yet I feel like a rock star and this is why.

Like many of you reading this article, I find myself teaching new classes this fall. Not only am I a Grade 2 teacher this year, but I am also the Division 1 music teacher. For me, this means I teach music to about 100 kids each week from kindergarten to Grade 2. Music is a subject that, in my 20-year career, I have not yet taught. 

I love music. Music lives in my heart. Music makes me feel. Yet I was not sure I wanted to share this passion with students. I thought maybe my love of music would wane and music would become a chore instead of a love if I “had to teach it.” 

My apprehensions have melted away. Teaching music to little kids is awesome! They love me! (Well, most of them, anyway!) We sing, we dance, we are silly, we play instruments and attempt to find the beat. I find myself teaching them old classics such as “On Top of Spaghetti” and “Wheels on the Bus” while they are teaching me new songs like “Keep the Beat” from a Netflix movie called VIVO. (I had no idea!) 

Now that I teach a lot of students in my school, and not just my Grade 2 class, I often hear “Hi Mrs. Wieclaw!” out on the playground, after school when the buses are pulling out, and so many times at our community swimming pool or grocery store. It seems like I am noticed everywhere, which makes me feel like a rock star! My fans (aka my students) are ready to give me high-fives, hellos, hugs and an occasional “I love you!” shout-out any time of the day! 


A shout-out to my own music mentors would be appropriate right about now. Teaching new subjects is daunting and finding resources can be a challenge. Thank you to Mrs. Essington, Mrs. Matthews and Ms. Olson for helping me with this new challenge of teaching music. (Attention new teachers: Even old teachers like me need mentors. You do too! Reach out and find a great teacher to learn from. I have been blessed in my teaching career with so many mentors!) 

Perhaps my attitude towards teaching music will change after I help plan our schoolwide Christmas concert. I may feel more like a washed-up, has-been rock star. Ha ha! I will always have the memories of the good times. For now, I will rock on. ❚

Nolana Wieclaw teaches at Clear Vista School in Wetaskiwin.



Success Stories is an ongoing feature that enables teachers to share their successes with their colleagues. To submit an idea or an article about a new program or approach that you’ve instituted, please contact managing editor Cory Hare at


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