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Re: lessons learned....

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From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun May 26 2002 - 03:58:43 PDT


>Their kids eventually drop my class, because my standards
> are "too high" for their lil darlins.
> Gelato

Just curious...do you teach in a smaller K-12 school in a more isolated
community? Sounds a little like our school. Fortunately, our
administrators fight so hard to get state money to keep the school going
that keeping good teachers is a priority for them, however...we've had four
band teachers in the high school in the past ten years. Our new guy, a
former band director for the Army...is really sharp, knows his stuff. We
had a day of music competition here hosted at our school for the conference
of eight districts. Judges told me a number of times how good this teacher
is. Yet...students are dropping band for next year. Evidently, his
standards are too high. He has introduced "lessons" which requires one
extra 20 minute time from the kids each week. That they dress up for when
they play, and be part of pep band, etc; Wow...he's gone REAL overboard!

The worst part is, kids go home and complain, and instead of getting on
their kids to step up to the challenge and see it will be good for them, a
few decide they're going to run him out of town. They did drive the former
band teacher out of here with their constant whining and angry parents. So
the current word has spread among the kids that if they refuse to take the
class, the school will be forced to let him go. This scheming is
predominantly among the freshman class currently, and a good number of
others.

Poor kid is greatly discouraged, but the administration has made it pretty
clear to him they support him and believe things will turn around. Amazing
though, to see how kids and their parents by attitude and ignorance revert
to a vigilante mentality. Very sad. Especially in smaller schools where
you work so hard to be able to provide good things like the arts to the
kids. Sad too, that such ignorance is working against the principle of
seeing the fruit of hard work pay off, which will then prepare the kid for
life!

Larry

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