Inspire student engagement and academic success

Story by Rachel Tabler, NDDPI Deputy Director of the Education Improvement and Support Office

Education has always been a rapidly changing system, even more so in recent years. Recently, the education system has made great changes in the way students and teachers interact with the curriculum and learning in general. It is inspiring and admirable to see the number of teachers who have embraced this change.

Tim Hines, a music education teacher at Dunseith Elementary School, is one such teacher who made the switch. He sees how his students reap the rewards of his hard work and dedication to meeting their needs while inspiring individual growth and excellence. As a music teacher, he is passionate about the fine arts. Its classroom welcomes you with a plethora of musical instruments, risers, technology, and a host of decorations that reference different genres and decades of music. However, his passion for student engagement and academic success is even more evident.

Hines works diligently with each grade level team to determine how he can incorporate what students are learning academically into his music class. Once the music is selected, he takes the time to create PowerPoint presentations of the lyrics which he displays on multiple screens so students can easily follow along. In many cases, especially for younger students, he went a step further and made sure to highlight the high-frequency words in the lyrics so that the students knew they were words they needed to know and practice. Students can follow along as Hines controls the technology, sings, and plays guitar.

Staff from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction had the privilege of touring Dunseith Elementary School and watching Hines teach a music lesson to his third-grade students. It was inspiring to see the fusion of passion, academics and student engagement. Hines was able to create a learning and celebratory environment that supports a respectful and welcoming culture for all students in her class. He works hard to combine his passion for music with the academic needs of his students. Students are not only engaged in fine art activities when they enter his room, but also work on mastering academic and technical standards.

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