Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You Get Paid!

When I was student teaching, eons ago, I spent a lot of time encouraging students to try a little harder.  One day, I told a student to think of it as his job, for now.  He needed to work now, so he could qualify for a better job later.

He immediately piped up and told me that it was easy for me to say. "You Get Paid!"

He was very surprised to learn, as did some of the other students, that I did not get paid.  In fact, as a student teacher I was paying for the privilege to be their teacher.  I paid for 9-15 hour days, being ignored, to be a disciplinarian, deal with disillusioned students and their often even more disillusioned parents, go to after school events, meetings, and all while still taking classes of my own and being a single parent.

Today, someone posted this on FaceBook, from the Ohio Teacher's Assoc.;

I can honestly say, from personal experience, that this applies to everyone that deserves to be a teacher.  The teachers I worked with that got to school right before the first bell, and left as soon as the classroom was empty, were NOT the good teachers.

The good teachers always tried to be early, relaxed and prepared, before any kid got to the classroom.  The good teachers stayed late to grade, tutor, help kids make up missed material, etc.  A good teacher is involved in after-school programs, summer activities, etc.  ALL teachers MUST continue their education, even after certification, to stay certified.  The classes and the time are at the teacher's own expense.

I tell you this, because I would like to give praise where it is due, regarding my son's teachers, especially in the band department.  He has other great teachers as well; but, these go WAY BEYOND.

My son is usually at the school by 6:30 am.  The band teacher is already there, for the kids that want to practice before school.  Multiple band teachers, on their own time, have helped students prepare for auditions for honor bands, of which their are several. The band teachers hold summer camps, in/out of town, for kids that want to stay involved, and maintain or improve their skills over the summer.

During marching season, students and secondary band teachers are at the school every weekday, until at least 5 pm.  Of course, it is much later on Football game nights.  During concert season there are evening performances, which include setting up and tearing down.  Some kids will go early and stay late to help with this very time consuming chore.  All students are encouraged to help;  But, most show up right before the concert and race out afterwards. Often, the few kids and teachers that stay don't get home until after 9 pm. -sometimes later.   

Did I mention that out-of-town band trips?  While the school district helps a lot, much of the expense of honor band trips, state competitions, etc. come out of the band instructors' own pockets.  It also involves packing and unpacking very expensive equipment, very early days and late nights, traveling with and taking care of students around the clock- even unexpected hospital visits.

Last, but not least, there are the private FREE lessons, for the students who, like them, want to share the love of music.

Both my daughter and son have chosen music for their future careers. in one form or another.  They have both put in LOTS of extra hours toward their goals.  But, the teachers have matched or exceeded those hours, in order to help and encourage them.

It makes me so very sad, when I hear of schools that are discontinuing their music programs, due to budget cuts.  Both of my kids have learned so much more than music. It has taught them discipline, responsibility, caring, patience, kindness, and more.

I am deeply grateful for all of the good teachers I had and the ones that have blessed my children over the years.

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