Reply To: Problems arising…

Frontpage Forums Band Problems arising… Reply To: Problems arising…


I’m in my first year at my school, and the kids loved the guy before me. I’m in the same boat as far as assessment requirements and whatnot, and the students (probably about 30% of them) are frustrated with the amount of non-performance work they have to do. It seemed to help when I explained to the kids what all I have to do regarding their grades and state requirements. I told them that I would love to be able to play more and give fewer assignments but that the state requires that I do things such as rank them as high, medium, or low based on things that don’t pertain to band (and I make it quite clear that I think it is morally wrong to label students like that) or ensure that they are doing quantifiable work during the entire class period (which is why “flutes and clarinets play; everyone else finger along” is now poor teaching and doing worksheets that take their focus away from the literature is good teaching). Of course, not all of the changes are terrible (and I wouldn’t actually have them play the entire period and do away with music theory and history), but this way they understand that our hands are tied as educators.

But there are always going to be beginners who hit that point where it stops being easy and starts requiring some actual work and decide they don’t want to have anything to do with such a class when they could just be in study hall. I figure that this particular era of overdoing assessments will be over within 5 years, and hopefully the changes at that time will be better.

I doubt the admin will decide that, after several years of building the band program to the level that you have, you must be a terrible teacher because the kids said you were. Most administrators were educators at some point and know that a seventh grader probably isn’t in a position to judge your skill as a teacher.