I have now completed month #8 at this 2A high school. I teach music/band pk-12.
So far, this struggling band program that I inherited has faced:
1. A late start (September) with f2f teaching.
2. A rotating, skeleton crew with band classes due
to students being sent home for quarantine and
also many kids choosing to do virtual.
3. A loss of 5 teaching days due to the snow storm.
4. A loss of 5 teaching days due to a District
shutdown due to a cafeteria employee testing
positive for covid.
5. A relentless Athletics/Cheer game and practice
6. Stock Show.
7. Bonding with the students has been difficult, I
have seen them very little, so many absences.
8. This new 6 weeks, I will only see band classes
16 days due to STAAR blitzes.
Really good characterstic sounds as well as rhythmic accuracies are beginning to happen grades 6-12, but we are moving at snail's (wearing combat boots) pace. Beginners have an incredible rehearsal etiquette but they are just now getting to Hot, Cross Buns. Performing groups can almost get through the Concert March. Other 2 tunes, nope. No C&SR this year for us.
The last UIL Sweepstakes for this ISD...1975. The current high school band is at a 7th grade performnce level, and they (admin, community) are expecting a Marching Band next fall. I don't see this community having the patience to have this band program grown from the ground up. And circumstances beyond my control have not allowed me to do my magic with performance skills: tone, articulation, flexibilty, technique, etc.
I signed my contract for 21-22 but I don't want to get stuck in an unworkable situation. I have the best Principal ever that has supported our band program despite our struggles. My concern - how long before I am seen as an excuse-maker?