Sam Worden



  • A Teachable Moment

    My high school music teachers changed my life, teaching me the value of metacognition. When I entered high school, my embouchure was a mess: when I played my trumpet, I mostly filled the mouthpiece with my upper lip, causing the horn to point downwards. It looked like I was playing the clarinet and sounded terrible. For about a year I kept trying new approaches, but nothing worked. Then one day I jutted out my chin and blew – my entire tone changed. My teacher came bursting into my practice room and practically dragged me down the hall to show Mr. Ordway, the head of the music department. Ordway was sitting outside, drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette (times were different then), and he looked up wordlessly as we approached. “Play,” Mr. Whitener ordered. I played. I don’t remember much of what they said, but what I really remember is the sense of accomplishment I felt after having finally figured this problem out. I guess it wasn’t a very big deal, but to me it was huge. I hope I can help my students find those moments of their own in my class.

  • What ‘Ignite passion and discovery in every student’ Means to Me

    The world is awash in information. A true student of the world needs to understand how to sift through that information, separating the useful from the not-so-useful. When a person learns how to do that, they can learn to do anything. I didn't really realize that I could learn literally anything I felt like learning until I was in my mid-twenties. My goal as a teacher is to help my students discover their power at a younger age than I did so that they are free to follow their passion and discover something new every day.

attachments & Links
send me a Note
Ignite passion and discovery in every student
  • District 117 Logo

    Community High School District 117

    1625 Deep Lake Road

    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-395-9001

    Fax: 847-395-7553

  • Antioch Community High School Logo

    Antioch Community High School

    1133 Main Street

    Antioch, Illinois 60002

    Phone: 847-395-1421

    Fax: 847-395-2435

  • Lakes Community High School Logo

    Lakes Community High School

    1600 Eagle Way Drive

    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-838-7100

    Fax: 847-838-3670