I'm sure this could apply to several districts in the large metro areas where poverty is thick.
I definitely feel directors come to this district to die.
Poor admin across the board. From the very top all the way down. The campus is a zoo.
Unrealistic demands and expectations. I understand setting a high bar but these schools all have failing TEA grades and you expect the bands to win Honor Band and go to Midwest????
Awful scheduling! There's no way of building a program.
The thing that makes me so mad here is that teachers are only here to make admin look good and get zero credit. That's all subject areas. They get zero support and get blamed for all the school issues.
They run off great teachers/directors. Meanwhile the consistent division 2/3/4 director is just content having a job.
Sound like my first position back in the mid-90s, almost word for word.
1. I had a budget, but was never allowed to see it so I could plan accordingly. Was always told, "Just do POs until I tell you to stop." When I stressed that it was important for me to see what money I had to work with, I was told, "You're NOT GOING TO SEE THE BUDGET. Unless you want to be written up for insubordination, I suggest you stop asking for it."
2. I was required to take them to UIL (1C MS by myself...long story). When it came time to do the PO for the entry, I was told, "You're out of money. You are going to have to pay for the entry fee out of your own pocket. No...you ARE taking the band to UIL."
3. Administration became completely unhinged in a BAD way that the band got a 122/222 at UIL. Did I mention that this was the first time in 12 years they DIDN'T get 555/555?
4. The only decent thing the principal did was tell me this:, "You need to resign." I asked why, and he said, "You went over budget and your UIL ratings were low."
And they wonder why TEA is now in control of the district.
Budget (or lack of)
Unrealistic expectations (especially compared to budget)
Unnecessary and excessive paperwork requirements
Poor scheduling/recruiting support
Poor pay - though this is really at the bottom of the list.
I'm thinking of my first job - puny budget (you spent more on your marching show this year than my annual budget was), too many restrictions on fundraising to supplement that budget, spending money required a byzantine process that nobody could explain to me, I got flack for not bringing home Div I (they had not seen a Div I in years, and I did improve the scores since the previous year), it was just stupidity all around. I only lasted a year there.
Iím starting to see a pattern of certain schools that always post. Sadly, I took one of these positions late this summer. What are some of the qualities that make a place where it is hard to be a band director?
Iíll post a few from my current situation in one of these:
1) schools that allow mob control
2) schools that constantly micro manage
3) schools that donít back up those placed in a position of leadership
Keep it going...might help people have questions for their future bosses in the interview process.