Just a vent

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tchr4evr, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Mar 7, 2012

    Just a vent.

    I run my afterschool theatre program. I am very flexible with my students in terms of their rehearsal requirements so that they can go to tutoring, clubs, athletics, etc. I want them there as much as possible, but I realize that this is high school, they are volunteering their time, and they have lives outside of theatre.

    Our band teacher is making my life very hard. He is very strict and very disciplined, which I admire very much. He is a former military man, so he brings much of that to his band. He has done wonderful things with the band, and they sound fantastic.

    His rule for his band students is they may only miss 3 after school practices, regardless of reason. If they miss more, they are out of the district festival, and they may possibly fail the class. He does allow them to attend other activities for for the 1st half hour after school, but then they must go to band, or they will have to run laps, or something if they're late.

    I have several theatre students who are also band students. There are also about 10 students who try out for shows who are also in band, but even though they are talented, I won't cast them because it's just too hard to work with their schedules, or, they don't receive leads because I know i can't have them for more than half an hour.

    I never demand my students skip activities except during tech week and final dress rehearsals. And then, if they really can't stay, I still let them leave. I do not have these students in class at all--all our work must be done after school. Every show I do I have at least one student who has never been to full run-through of the show until opening night because they have always had to leave to go to band, even on dress rehearsal days.

    So today was dress rehearsal for a show that opens tomorrow night. The band students have been rehearsing 3 songs for districts (which is this Saturday) everyday day, 3 hours a day after school, plus 1 hour a day in class, for 2 months. I requested that the two band students who were in the show be allowed to stay for the entire dress rehearsal. The students were allowed to stay until 4:30, then they had to return to band. One was finished at 4:30, the other was just taking the stage, and did not return to band. When he went to band at 5:15, he was told he was being kicked out of band.

    Now, I respect this teacher, and his standards. I don't know if this student has missed his three days, but I know he has been consistently leaving rehearsal for the past month on time to go to band. Am I wrong in thinking this teacher is being inflexible and very inconsiderate of the students and me? The students are afraid to talk to him, and many only continue to go to band because he threatens them with grades.

    I want the band teacher and I to get along, and I want to honor his rules, but at the same time, he never gives me an inch. I always release my students from rehearsal on game days, or if the next day is some significant event--I want them to be well-rounded. If today was Friday, and his competition was tomorrow, I would never have even asked my students to stay--I would have made sure they went to band to practice.

    The kids complain to me all the time about him, and i try to stay out of it, because it's really not my place, but when it is effecting my final product, and my students are then, in my mind, unduly penalized, I must then speak up.

    Am I asking too much?
     
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  3. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Mar 7, 2012

    Does he realize that many of his kids are in your program?
     
  4. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Mar 7, 2012

    Yes he does. He has even worked with us in the past, so he sees the overlap.
     
  5. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Mar 7, 2012

    That seems unfair, especially because he gets a class period as well. Band, in my school, is only during one class period and they always sound great.
    I don't think you're overreacting.
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Mar 7, 2012

    I could write exactly this, except replacing band with track. Last year, we did Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and at no point had all 12 brothers been on stage together before opening night! And one of them almost didn't make it that night. I was literally in his costume and gluing his beard to my face to do the role for him when he showed up, less than five minutes to curtain. He had been at track practice.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Mar 7, 2012

    Our band director had to be reigned in a little the other year. Same type of thing. Kids classroom grades would suffer for missing after school practice. The director would indicate and encourage students to do other things beside band but when push came to shove, they couldn't miss band or classroom grades would suffer. So, which one will the student choose to miss, the one where there is no grade attached or the one where their GPA will suffer....

    In the end the band director had to give.
     
  8. appleaday180

    appleaday180 Rookie

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    Mar 8, 2012

    I find that my school sees the same problem, many students are in both activities and are forced to choose one or the other in the end. It is very discouraging. High school students should be able to experiment with different extracurricular events!
     
  9. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Mar 8, 2012

    Why does he need the students for a few hours everyday?
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Mar 8, 2012

    Well, our band director does have scheduled practices after school once or twice a week during season. But the kids sign up for band knowing there are mandatory practices after school.

    Having been in band, I think three hours a day every day after school is a little bit much for Districts. If it were State, I could see that much extra time needed.
     
  11. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Mar 8, 2012

    You are not asking too much. There should be give and take, as well as common courtesy between teachers when special events happen.
     
  12. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Mar 9, 2012

    I would talk to him about it. Maybe since he told the two students they could come to band at 4:30 he thinks the one student did as he was told and the other didn't. Couldn't hurt to let him know the reason the other student was late.
     
  13. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Mar 9, 2012

    We did talk

    We did talk, and he accused me of being unprofessional--of breaking our agreement. He even included one of our administrators in the email he sent. I sent a very nicely worded reply--and I hope its the end of it. I'm am really so tired of it, that I am considering not casting any band students for this next show so I just don't have to deal with it--which is a shame, because they are really talented.
     

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