I have heard that God doesn't give more than one can handle, so I may be
happy about this when January rolls around but here's the deal:
I teach k-6th, then the 6th graders feed from two schools (I teach at both)
into middle school.
I then have a 7/8 class that students can "choose" a fine art or study hall.
They have only done this one year (art) and I really think I knocked myself
out last year to make a memorable year and a good impression. The kids did
really well at our Art Competition (held off campus so not too many people knew
about how well we did and not much was publicized).
Anyway, last year it was a very frustrating that if a student was behind on
their grades they could drop their elective and go to study hall. We have
about 150 7-8th graders. It was really hard to compete with study hall and
the pressure to please these kids so they wouldn't drop was frustrating because
it made it hard to discipline.
So we (Choir, Band & Art) kind of insisted that a student make a semester
commitment. If they couldn't we would need a conference with the parent, not
just a note. The principle made it clear the first day.
Well, lo and behold, I only got 9 students.
Last year I had 14 and we got a great deal done. Most of my nine are the
younger ones from last year with a few new students.
The painful part is not ONE of my 66 6th graders chose me.
Most chose Band which I can understand after investing in band in 5th and
6th. 14 chose Choir.
I guess I am sad because I really thought I had developed a kinship with many
of these talented kids and many had won awards.
I know also it's peer pressure, they want to go where their friends go,
I just wonder if I did something wrong by insisting that they stay or have a
conference. Did I scare them away?
Last year Choir got down to 2 which was a nightmare for the teacher who isn't
here anymore. (Job security an issue here?)
This is a college prep private school and there is a lot of pressure and
homework so it's hard to compete with study hall.
Should I call some of these kids up and try to recruit them or be happy I
have a light load?