Mrs. Jurica - Music
What drew you to teaching and in particular, teaching music?
My mom was a teacher and I always wanted to be a teacher.
In terms of music, my parents are both singers and I was in the children’s choir at church so I grew up singing. When I was seven, the local high school was doing The Sound of Music and I auditioned and got the part of Gretl. After that experience, I learned I loved being onstage and that fed into my love for music as well.
My grandfather taught me piano, and music has always been a huge part of my family. We play music and sing when we get together.
When I was in sixth or seventh grade choir I realized that I could be a music teacher, and that's what I decided I wanted to do.
Was there a teacher growing up that inspired you, and why?
My choir teacher in fifth and sixth grade was a teacher that really loved her students and music.
What is something you especially like about teaching music?
I love seeing when students start to take ownership of the music.
What did you miss the most about teaching in person during the stay-at-home order?
I missed singing with the students and hearing them sing as a group. This just did not work over Zoom. I also missed getting to know the students.
I was very sad that we had to cancel the Spring musical, Into the Woods. The students had worked so hard and were very excited about it. I’m hoping we can find a way for the students to perform the musical safely or virtually this coming year.
What are you most looking forward to at the start of the school year?
Getting to hear my kids sing!
I am also planning on using more of the virtual tools that I learned during the stay-at-home order. I only see the students twice a week, so I’m hoping that the students can send me videos of themselves singing with some of the new technology on the days I don’t have them in class. I would like for the students to have more opportunities to make music outside of the time I have with them in class, and I think some of the virtual tools will help with that.
What is the best advice you’ve received about teaching?
Don’t take things personally. If a kid is having a bad day, don’t assume it’s about you as the teacher. Since I’ve learned that, I’ve been able to focus on helping each student where they are at.
What do you like about St. John’s?
I like that everyone knows everyone here. There is more freedom at a private school like St. John’s to experiment and to figure out how to make music with the students.
I love that we can have conversations with the students about faith. I am also grateful that I can talk to my fellow teachers about my faith and we can pray together.
St. John’s is a place that really values the arts. I love that I can tie faith into music. I am so thankful to be a music teacher at St. John's.