Husband and wife work in harmony

Entering his 32nd year in education, general/choral music teacher, and Educorps leader Kris Zinkievich is team teaching Honors Concert with his wife, choral music teacher Sandra Zinkievich.
Hoping to make a positive impact on the music department, Mr. Zinkievich also teaches the new music technology class in which students create music digitally. “I’m hoping to bring in students that haven’t typically been in the music program before,” says Mr. Zinkievich.
The option of co-teaching arose when the typical 45 student Honors Concert class jumped to 70. Instead of splitting the class into two periods, the Zinkievichs decided to team teach for logistic reasons. “[Two classes] is extra work because the students need the opportunity to practice together. Lunchtime or after school rehearsals [is] an extra commitment for kids,” Mrs. Zinkievich says.
Two teachers leading the class creates an effective learning environment. The class can be divided in two; Mrs. Zinkievich working with one section while Mr. Zinkievich handles the other. Later in the same period, the students can combine the notes they learned separately.
The students reacted quite positively to the unique teaching situation. Besides having two teachers that can provide help and support, the students have another unusual gain from the class. “I think they benefit from seeing a husband and wife able to work together in a positive way,” Mr. Zinkievich says.
Equipped with years of experience and mastered musical skills, the Zinkievichs each have their own unique capabilities to contribute to the class. Very focused on the melody, Mr. Zinkievich often does demonstrations in the female octave while Mrs. Zinkievich does more in the male octave.
The Zinkievich’s daughter, senior Beth Ann Zinkievich, is in Honors Concert and notices the differences in her parents teaching styles. “[Mrs. Zinkievich] is more into getting notes first and then going back to fix it all, and [Mr. Zinkievich] stays on one phrase for a bit while they have the notes to fix it,” Zinkievich says.
Being the only current male choral teacher, Mr. Zinkievich can serve as inspiration for male students having trouble with their voices. “Guys have a male role model to help them navigate the changing voice and the transition in their voices,” says Mrs. Zinkievich.
Working together can pose challenges, like working late into the night. Previously working separately, though, they can now collaborate together on the same task.
While many were initially skeptical about the Zinkievichs’ new teaching strategy as well as their ability to maintain a healthy relationship, Mr. and Mrs. Zinkievich have proved their critics wrong. The couple appears strong and determined in the beginning of the new school year, willing to confront what comes their way.