Saturday, January 25, 2014

Welcome to C Major Learning!

I'm Karla Cherwinski, and the kids call me Mrs. C

I'm so excited to join the world of blogging!  If you know me, you know that technology is something I have always embraced in my classroom.  So I'm looking forward to using this technology to share and collaborate with my friends and colleagues, old and new.

A little about me...  I live in Canal Winchester, Ohio where I teach at Indian Trail Elementary.  I also grew up in Canal Winchester.  It was never the plan but I've ended up teaching in the same school district where I grew up, and sometimes with teachers that I had in school.

I graduated from high school in 1989 and my plan was to be a HS band director.  I always had a love of music from when I was young and sang around the piano with my Mom and Grandma.  And I knew I wanted to be a music teacher from the time I started thinking about what I wanted to do when I grew up!  I was very fortunate to have some amazing teachers along the way who also inspired me to be a teacher:  
Pat Locke - 1st grade; 
Sue Dowdy - elementary music; 
Jim Dowdy - 5-8th grade band director; 
Mark Barrios - high school choir and band director; 
Tim Swinehart - Columbus Youth Wind Ensemble director;  
Barbara Noronha - private piano instructor

They all helped me be the teacher that I am today!

I attended Capital University as a Music Ed major and had the continued good fortune to study with many amazing musicians! I was placed in Verena Dambrans piano studio and decided to switch from a clarinet major to piano major at the end of my freshman year.  I also studied with Lynda Hasseler, Jim Swearingen, and Sandy Mathias.

Sandy was the one that opened my eyes to the world of elementary general music and Zoltan Kodaly - I owe her so very much!  Immediately after graduation I started my studies at the Kodaly Institute at Capital where I received my Kodaly certificate in 1996.  Then I spent 3 weeks at the Kodaly Institute in Keschement, Hungary.  What was an amazing experience!  
I will definitely tell you more about Hungary in the future.

I was lucky enough to get a job right after graduating from Capital and worked at Cedar Heights Elementary in Lancaster, Ohio for 5 years.  The first few years were a bit of blur...  lesson planning, learning songs, learning students names, figuring out what worked and what didn't.  But the feeling I remember most was going home every day with a smile of my face because I was doing something I LOVED.  There was absolute joy each and every day that I walked in that building and worked with those amazing kids!  I learned so very much about education, myself, and life in general.

I began my current position in Canal Winchester schools in 1998 where I have been ever since.  I started out teaching K-1 and 5-6th grades, and over the years things have evolved to where I currently teach K-2nd grade.

While teaching is an important part of my life, my family is the center.  I married my husband, Jim, in 1996.  We have 2 wonderful children who are aspiring musicians themselves!  My parents continue to be my biggest fans and have supported me from my first piano recital to my student's many performances at Indian Trail.  I would not be here today without the support of all of my family members as well as the many friends I have made along the way.

So as I move into the third decade of my career, I still love what I do everyday and strive to learn and better my teaching.  I have met so many amazing people along the way that continue to inspire me to a better person and teacher!  It is my hope that this blog may offer up some useful ideas, thought provoking questions, and a chance for me to learn a lot from the rest of you.  Look for more to come soon!


  1. Hi Mrs. C! I graduated High School in 1988. I teach general music as well. I don't blog (yet!) but I look forward to what you will share :)

    1. Thanks for 'staying tuned'! I look forward to what you share as well!

  2. Karla, you have been such a blessing to Katie (and the rest of us, too). She'll talk to me about an issue in the classroom, and I'll say "Talk to Karla." She has learned so much from you, and her time in the classroom with you helped her be more prepared and more effective as a first year teacher. You really have instilled a love of teaching in Katie. Thanks for all you do. I don't have the words to say how much your support of Katie has meant to me. I have one less worry, because you are there to help her! --Barb.

  3. You are so kind - she is an amazing person and I'm sure she would have been an amazing teaching without me around bc it is just in her blood! I'm certainly glad that she (and your whole family) is a part of my family's life - we are all better bc of it and Katie certainly keeps me on my toes (which I absolutely LOVE)!!!