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I Need Help!


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#1 Caesar7770

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 10:52 AM

Hi everyone

I need help. I am in a not-so-great situation. I have a group of un-motivated kids in an urban school setting, trying to build a program. I am fighting a lot of resistance, still working on my teaching chops (discipline, etc), and having a rough year. I don't have the best relationship with my supervisor and I am generally unhappy. I honestly don't think I am THAT bad of a Band Director where I am doing that bad of a job where I can't control a Band. Not trying to play the blame game but I feel some of it is the kids and the area that I'm in. I've been incredibly frustrated all year so far.

I'm also getting bad vibes that I won't be re-hired for next year. Obviously I would like to resign before that happens but I can't do that until I know I have another job. If you don't get re-hired are you totally blackballed for life? Is that the end of your career? Will anyone give you a second chance?

Sorry for the frustrations I am just very concerned and unhappy and not really sure where to go from here. Any advice or words of encouragement would be useful.

Thanks
Caesar

#2 Jumberg

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 12:48 PM

View PostCaesar7770, on Nov 7 2007, 10:52 AM, said:

Hi everyone

I need help. I am in a not-so-great situation. I have a group of un-motivated kids in an urban school setting, trying to build a program. I am fighting a lot of resistance, still working on my teaching chops (discipline, etc), and having a rough year. I don't have the best relationship with my supervisor and I am generally unhappy. I honestly don't think I am THAT bad of a Band Director where I am doing that bad of a job where I can't control a Band. Not trying to play the blame game but I feel some of it is the kids and the area that I'm in. I've been incredibly frustrated all year so far.

I'm also getting bad vibes that I won't be re-hired for next year. Obviously I would like to resign before that happens but I can't do that until I know I have another job. If you don't get re-hired are you totally blackballed for life? Is that the end of your career? Will anyone give you a second chance?

Sorry for the frustrations I am just very concerned and unhappy and not really sure where to go from here. Any advice or words of encouragement would be useful.

Thanks
Caesar


Is this the same situation you were in in the past or did you get a new job for this year? I know we discussed similar things in the past.

I am younger as well, and after 4 years on the gig, I am starting to keep my eyes open for a new job next year. I've never changed jobs though. Worked at a local resturaunt chain for 6 years during HS and College and then got this job...very nervous about it. Don't want to think the grass is greener and get over there and find out that really, it was just spray painted to lure me in.

My guess is that if you are willing to move, you would not have a problem being re-hired elsewhere...but if you want to say in teh same general community, it may be VERY difficult. Sorry I can't help more. Hopefully someone else will log on and try to help (though I'm very disappointed in how little this resource is used by fellow educators).

#3 Caesar7770

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:01 PM

Jumberg,

I'm still in the same situation. There have been a few improvements - I have the majority of them in one Band class. It's still not a great situation, I want out. Also my supervisor is not helpful.

Thanks
Caesar

#4 Jumberg

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:02 AM

View PostCaesar7770, on Nov 12 2007, 12:01 PM, said:

Jumberg,

I'm still in the same situation. There have been a few improvements - I have the majority of them in one Band class. It's still not a great situation, I want out. Also my supervisor is not helpful.

Thanks
Caesar



I wish I had the answer...sorry. I have much of the same questions but I am glad I do not have it quite as bad as you though

#5 trumpeter

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 11:27 PM

I'd get out of there! Start looking for openings in other schools. I know this sounds like "running away", but you need to look out for yourself and go to a school you're comfortable with. Also, I'm not sure if you're willing to move very far, but quite often you need to look much farther out than the city you're in. I know several band directors who have moved to different cities, counties, and even different states to get a job they're happy with. It's worth it. Don't burn yourself out your first year of teaching!

#6 Caesar7770

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:18 AM

Trumpeter,

Thanks for the advice. Actually I'm in my 5th year of teaching. I taught elementary for my first 2 years and then I switch to a high school because I wanted to do HS Band. There are quite a few problems that I've been trying to work out and it's getting there very slowly. Also, there are problems regarding politics, heavy demands with little support, and a lot of other garbage that gives me more reasons to want to leave.

I'm still a young teacher and I admit I am still looking for ways to refine and improve my own teaching chops. However I refuse to believe that I'm THAT bad of a teacher that I shouldn't be rehired. I am in a tough urban area with a group of kids that have so-so enthusiasm for the activity and almost no parent support. I've tired many different approaches and I'm still trying.

Part of me would like to go to a more suburban school. I'm also looking for a school where I'm not the only Band teacher. At the moment I'm managing 4 ensembles with the same group of kids. I understand that is sometimes common practice but I would still like to look.

I'm exploring my options. I'm also considering leaving teaching, I've seen some jobs for educational research - something that interests me as long as I can make it music education reseach.

Thanks for the advice, any other words of encouragement or food for thought is appreciated!

Caesar

#7 Meldog

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 11:58 AM

I would also suggest getting out of there. If you had support from the administration and even parents then you would have a solid base to build upon but without having that, it is an extremely difficult situation and sad too. I am working in a very poor district that had an instrumental music program which was barely alive due to an incompetent director at the school for 4 years. Due to our location the school would have rather had a bad director then no instrumental program at all as not many people apply up here. It finally got to the point where they would have rather had no program then a bad one as this guy was bad. My first day here I had 6 kids in high school band and 6 kids in Jr. High band and now I'm in the 30's combined and will be at 50 in the next 2-3 years. If I didn't have the support of the administration and parents I would have been outta here after the first few months. I can deal with low motivation, as that is something that is workable but no support is a tough barrier to get over. I would also suggest looking at somewhere else as was mentioned earlier. I was originally looking in NY state and interviewed for about 12 positions which I was more then qualified for but because I didn't have the right connections I didn't get it, yet my first job I applied for in Maine I was hired and they are speeding me through the contract process so that I am on a permanent contract in just over a year when it normally takes 2-3 years. Many times it's all about the location.
Adam W. Metzler
Central Aroostook High School & Fort Street Elementary School Instrumental Music Teacher

#8 Caesar7770

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 07:55 AM

Meldog,

Thanks for the advice. I really don't have the support of the parents, that's the big problem. I have lack-luster support from the administration, only this year do I have all the kids in one Band class - I was working with split rehearsals for the past two years. I have two parents show up for events at most, and I hope to have a semi decent turnout at the concert.
Another problem is I'm the only guy here and there is a large demand on me for time. Granted, we all put our time afterschool in and I understand that, but I am managing 4 ensembles with one group of kids. Marching, Concert, Jazz, and the Pit for the show. I feel stretched to the limit. Also, there is no consideration from the administration or the town, they'll drop a gig at us at the drop of a hat and expect us to be there, not considering that the kids and/or myself may have prior plans. Unfortunatly they use the Band for political purposes and I really don't like that.

Thanks again
Caesar