In my first few years of teaching, I was very privileged to work with several very good directors as their assistant. In both situations, there were often times where the good cop/bad cop role had to be played. I'm not saying this was an advantage or disadvantage, but it helped the students know that both of us had their best interests in mind, and we just approached things a little differently.
I always said this to the kids: "know where the line between cutting up/joking and working is, and we will all be fine". Now, there has to be a certain amount of maturity on the director's part to help achieve this, but it can be done. Is the head director still getting work done? Are you? If the answer is yes on both fronts, drive on and continue. We all have different teaching styles that work for us, and we've all learned what doesn't work.
Here may be the bottom line.....you aren't there to be their friend. Teach them well, and the respect will grow. They will learn just how far they can go with you before you get upset. Sometimes just being quiet on the podium will get that point across. NO need to yell and scream. They won't respond to that. Take the opportunity to let them see you outside of the band hall. Go throw a football at lunch with them, talk about your favorite sports team, fishing/hunting, or how their cow did at 4H/FFA. Let them see that you are human and have human interests like they do. Let them hear your playlist and show them that it's not all classical music (trust me, they think this).
I've been the good cop AND the bad cop in my career. Where I am now, I have to play BOTH at times, and it sucks! Good luck to you and your groups.
I'm in an interesting situation. This is my first year in this particular district, a small 3A. There are two band directors: myself, and the head director. After teaching in two other districts, I am completely happy here. HD and I get along incredibly well, we have support from admin, a great budget, and I could keep going on about the wonderful things this district has to offer.
There is one thing that I am struggling with here, and I am hoping that maybe I could get some advice or encouragement. My HD is not a disciplinarian. He jokes and laughs with the kids, and lets them get away with more sloppy rehearsal etiquette than I do. I am much more firm and structured than he is, and that's just our different personalities, I think.
Here lately, I've been noticing that as a whole, the band kids in this district gravitate toward him. How could they not? It is starting to wear on me, though. The kids in my junior high band are always asking about him if he isn't there. One beginner flat out told me during class that she likes him more than me. I was just passing out new music when I noticed a sticky note on a door written by a kid that says "Mr. X is the best."
Maybe I'm being petty, maybe I need to take a mental health day, but I'm really struggling with this. I talk to the kids every free chance that I get, and I am trying to build relationships with them. My band rehearses well and I have no doubt that they'll do well at UIL, but being a band director is more than just UIL ratings. Any advice?