Respect and being taken seriously!

Discussion in 'Music Teachers' started by celloldy, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. celloldy

    celloldy New Member

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    Mar 8, 2011

    I wonder if any other music teachers have come across this and how you dealt with it?
    I teach music in an independent school 3 afternoons a week to K - 3's.
    I teach in the auditorium, which is used for other things, like storing chairs, music stands, tables, etc. and the stage has a back door access and is used for storage when not in use.
    I am in my 3rd year there now and most of the teachers have been there forever, so I'm still "new" in comparison.
    The problem is that people just walk into the class (teachers, EA's included) without excusing themselves, distract my class which I work hard to keep engaged and sometimes proceed to make a whole bunch of noise which totally disrupts the flow of the class causing me endless frustration.
    It's not always the same person/people, and I'm wondering how I deal with this without seeming like I'm trying to 'throw my weight around'! I get the feeling that people think - "It's only the music class" and I want to try and change that mind set, but in an effective way that will result in a mutual respect not resentment. I've thought about putting some kind of sign on the door when I'm using the room as a start - anyone have any thoughts about this?
     
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  3. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Mar 9, 2011

    I would speak with your principal or perhaps a nicely worded email would do the trick. Maybe you could include the times the room is in use & ask people to wait until before or after those times to get things out of the room. I would put in the email that the students get distracted when someone enters the room. I would even say that they may not think it is disruptive if they just pop in, but then someone else does it, and then someone else. (I think sometimes you just need to spell it out so people understand where you're coming from. ) Good luck!:hugs:
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 9, 2011

    I agree that you should see how your P would like you to deal with it. Good luck!
     
  5. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Mar 9, 2011

    Another approach may be asking for another space where there is less intrusion.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2011

    I know with all the testing and everything going on many specials teachers are incoporating academic content standards into their lessons. Are you doing any of this? You obviously don't "have" to, but it might help the classroom teachers respect what you're doing more if you're working more closely with them and helping them fill academic gaps. Many of them probably don't realize all of the stuff that you're working on that will help students be better learners. As an intervention teacher, I found that I have to "prove" myself at the beginning of the year. When I went to pull kids out for small group, teachers would look at me and say "oh...do you have anything planned?" because they wouldn't want the kid to miss whatever they were doing or they'd want me to do some classroom assignment with them. I found that to be really offensive- of course I had a lesson planned just like they did! Once I started sharing with the teachers what kinds of things I was doing and getting their input, I started getting a lot more respect. In fact, many of them now view their student's time with me as the most important part of the student's day! I also find people walking into my room and taking things (for example, pta always takes out my portable marker board to write announcements on for meetings, and I have to go find it the next day). I haven't really said anything, but I think I might try just "joking around" about it so its not so in-your-face but people realize its happening. It depends on your school environment though- I could see that being seen as really passive agressive to some people!
     
  7. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    Apr 12, 2011

    I like the idea the other poster had about sending out an email with the times the auditorium is being used (or when it's empty). You could also hang a sign on the door that says, "Keep door closed, music class in session".
     
  8. stazzy

    stazzy New Member

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    Apr 23, 2011

    hi celloldy, :agreed:

    Sorry to hear about your plight. I am from the Caribbean and Music classes are now especially recognized and valued in most of our schools.. There are always various competitions on-going for different national festivities which involve students from the primary and secondary school levels. The recognition in terms of rewards, trophies and prizes are sponsored by national businesses and government. The people generally, find a need to hold on to our culture and music despite other influences. Hence, from this understanding, I think respect needs to be promoted for the value of music being taught in your school, perhaps at a cultural level and thus more appreciation maybe shown....
     
  9. old_School

    old_School Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2011

    Sadly I think people just don't respect music as a profesion period. I grew up in a music family, my father has played and performed profesional for over 40 years in the industry. As a former teacher, I often watched the "arts" teachers get pushed around and slapped in the face often. Its sad because music, art and other education is likely more important the the basics. Music and art is something you carry on forever. We all forget silly small things we learned in school but we never forget music or artistic things we learned. To this day I can still sing Miss. Marry Mac. Hated the song but I can still remember it. Sadly as well I dought other teachers will even listen to your pleade. In order to gain respect, the entire profesion at this point needs to be respected.
     
    Neha Mehta likes this.
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 11, 2011

    I disagree.

    My experience is somewhat limited, having only taught in 2 schools in my career. But I can say that in both schools, the music teachers are as respected as any other professional.

    Our chorus teacher has been on faculty since we opened in 1987. He's an utter professional in every sense of the word.
     
  11. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2011

    This was going to be my suggestion, too! I think sometimes just a nice visual reminder is a good place to start.

    As for music teachers not being taken seriously, I work with a whole slew of band directors in my community band, and it seems to depend greatly on the grade level. The elementary music teachers tend to get pushed aside and treated similar to the manner discussed by the OP while the secondary band/choir/orchestra teachers are treated with much more respect, assuming they have a good program. If not... they are pushed aside as well. It's a bit like PE teachers vs. coaches. My dad was a PE teacher for an elementary and people would joke about what an "easy job" he had, clueless as to the amount of effort he put in his lessons and how seriously he took the idea of physical education and creating life long physically fit people. Football coaches, on the other hand, are treated like demi-Gods (at least in the South). However, if you're the coach of a LOSING football program, you are treated with disdain.
     
  12. dlnw52

    dlnw52 New Member

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    Oct 30, 2011

    I came here to comment/vent about the same type of thing. I teach technology at a middle school. I am part of our Encore team that includes the music, art, and PE teachers. Our school is mostly a veteran staff who seem to feel we are just 'filler' so they can have their plan time.

    I also have people in and out of my classroom all the time. Teachers come in to use the computers, people come in to get stuff off the printer that were printed from elsewhere. I share a large room with the library so have kids in the library waving and trying to get the attention of my students. The librarian often shows movies that are clearly visible on the wall to my students. I just finished three days, five periods each day, of the social studies classes in the library watching a WWII movie. Three days of explosions and gun fire. I asked the librarian to turn down the volume and she said it's just loud when there are explosions. If she turns it down, they can't hear the dialogue.

    I found out that some of the grade-level teachers were telling students to use the bathroom during their Encore classes so they wouldn't have to leave when they go to their class. One team was going on a field trip that would mean they would miss their plan time so they arranged to switch Encore periods with another team for that day, meaning instead of having 7th grade the first two periods and 8th grade the last two periods, it would be reversed. At no point did they discuss this with us. We just got a note in our mailbox saying this is what was being done on such and such a date. The other day, I was sitting with a group of teachers and one asked what we wanted to do for dinner for parent teacher conference night. Someone suggested a pot luck with everyone bringing something. Some else said the problem with that is we have to clean up after conferences. Someone else said, 'Maybe Encore could do that since they usually don't have people waiting to see them.' So we are a bathroom break and the clean up crew.

    The computer lab we use for class is the only lab we have in the school, other than some laptops that are unreliable. Teachers tell students that if they need a computer to finish an assignment they can come in before or after school or during lunch. Who is supposed to supervise these students? Me! They get paid to supervise homework club after school but I'm supposed to do this for free. I put my foot down and ticked people off.

    We have new principals this year and they gave out a survey asking what we thought were the positive things about our school and what needs to change. I commented that the other teams put no value on what the Encore team does. The principals thought this was important enough to bring up at our first school improvement meeting. Now the teachers are kind of ticked at me for bringing this to the attention of administration.

    Part of the resentment they have is because they don't feel we are accountable since our subjects aren't tested on the standardized tests that students take. My argument is that it isn't our fault. We have no control over that. More resentment comes from a change in the way we are paid that occurred two years ago. We teach an extra class and used to get paid $26 a day for that class, like an internal sub would. At our last contract negotiations, the art teacher and I wanted to change that. We thought we should get paid 1/5 of a beginning teacher's salary. We were told by the other teachers that it wasn't worth that and they wouldn't allow us to propose it. However, at the negotiations table, the superintendent brought it up and suggested exactly what we had proposed! You should've seen the looks on the other teachers' faces! However, now they resent this.

    I'm resigned to the reality that this isn't going to change until these teachers are gone. Luckily, we have a mass exodus of retirements from all three grade levels two and three years down the road. Encore team will be losing no one. Let's hope we can turn things around.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 30, 2011

    I would be just as frustrated (and insulted). I would first try a nice sign—something attractive and to the point as suggested already:

    Music Class In Session.
    Please do not interrupt.

    If that didn't work, I would speak with an administrator. I do not feel you need to alter your curriculum to prove yourself. If the other adults in the building can't wrap their heads around the fact that you were hired to teach music (without their input, without their approval), that's just sad. Thankfully our arts programs are respected at my school.
     
  14. Neha Mehta

    Neha Mehta New Member

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    Mar 23, 2017

    Yes I agree to that music is a very form of art that has to respected no matter what happens .Music is very suiting to our mind once practiced in the right way.This is a major concern ,strict action must be taken on this
     

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