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Re: Is it that different?
Read my last sentence again. And, it's not a put down. It's just the way it is. I have been the wrong teacher in a different school. It's about fit. If the community is "lazy" as you say, then you need to find a way to make it work for the kids. I focus on the kids, not the parents. My job is to find a ways to make band and school a positive productive place for them. Is it easy? NO! Is it challenging? YES, very much so! But if one is the right director it can be done. If it isn't a good fit, it doesn't mean the director is a bad teacher. It means he or she just doesn't fit in and can't get through to the kids in that particular school. If you able to get through, parents will eventually get on board. Not all, but most.
Community plays a HUGE part in success. The demographics I teach are just like the person you replied to, but the community is lazy. The kids get this from the parents and they bring it into the classroom and band hall. We are "successful" (we aren't close to honor band material, but we make our 1's) but it is a struggle and we lose a lot of kids who don't want to put in the work. The sad thing is that we used to have a better work ethic in our community and school but it has slowly changed.
So, I have all the demographics that you named and we are Title 1. Yet, I have a good band program (nope didn't inherit it) and we make sweepstakes all the time. Maybe the real disadvantage in these situations where it fails is having the wrong teacher?