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Re: Making the jump
Network, network, network. Talk to other directors. Build those relationships so people know you as an individual and not just part of "that school". The old "who you know" system had some good qualities. People trash it as the "good ol' boy" system, but who you know and who knows you will take you places.
You may need to start with the assistants at other schools. Get to know them. When a position comes up at their school, whether new or due to them moving elsewhere, ask them to recommend you. Talk positively about other people. Always be positive and they will speak positively of you. Hang in there. Your ratings will speak for themselves.
I've been a HS assistant for 5 years now. My district is full of people who just want a paycheck and don't much care about how good the band is. Our beginner teachers are counting days until retirement. Head director doesn't really care about much, and the principal is happy with him. He shows no signs of retiring any time soon. I've made some suggestions to get us better but he doesn't want to hear it. We are consistently one of the worst bands in our region. I do what I can with the NV kids, but there's only so much I can do with the kids I get from the MS, and as soon as they can play they move up to the varsity group. I've consistently scored 1s with the NV group. Marching and varsity bands usually get 2s. How the heck do I get out of here? I go to region meetings, but I feel like everyone is looking down on me because their bands are better. I'm working on my master's and expect to graduate in December. What can I do to get noticed? I'd be happy to take an assistant job in a better district, I'd rather have a head director job somewhere.
I knew the usual advice is to look at small rural schools. For family reasons, I need to stay in the Metroplex.