Unfortunately,many things about a band program can ruin a band director or give him/her a bad taste in their mouth. I was in a very bad situation and I needed to get out before I had a nervous breakdown. Lots of school policies were being broken in addition, to district policies. I found out I was in the wrong place during the first football game when I was screamed at by the head band director for making the annoucement at the wrong time. The sound booth was sound proof and I missed my song cue. That was one of the first times I wanted to melt and slide out of the stadium to a place far, far away. While this was my first time announcing, not being perfect was my weakness. I was told that I was finished in the sound booth. Good riddance... until the next football game when I found out I had been reassigned to do announcements. I was wondering if I needed to shoot for perfection again. I was already trying my best which was not good enough.
Many other issues occurred as the year progressed. I faced accussations which were not true. Our room had a camera. For the life of me I could not figure out why they could not pull the film to see that I was not lying. I made it to Christmas, then past Christmas... ignoring issues that truly bothered me. Then, the copying machine in the BH runs out of ink too soon. Another blame game there even though I did not even use it. I made it to MLK day.... I felt that I was on a roll and I might be able to make it Valentine's Day.
I have heard of the millennial thing, but had never had issues with it and never thought much about until October of that year. I never realized that people who create problems could actually go out of their way to blame others for what they, themselves did. I had never heard of that. (And I know not all millennials are like that; my own children are millennials and are not like that. I did not raise them with the idea that I had to raise them differently. I just knew they needed to know right from wrong and that they understood that there would be consequences... even a paddle, if the situation called for it.)
First day of February came.. and ... the last straw came and I inserted it into the box on the camel's back.... this was at least the 100th straw since that first football game. I heard a cracking sound and saw movement. The camel's back finally broke.
What was I to do? As soon as I got home I got a calendar out and started counting my years and days. Did I have enough years to retire? I had not made any arrangements to do so. Well, I could always quit and then, fill out papers. While TRS probably does not like it that way... they could probably get over it. It turns out that I barely had enough years taught. Once added to my age I barely had the right number, but the best part... the right number was had...even if by a hair.
I quit. This was my first time to quit in the middle of the year and I only had to provide two weeks notice and I did not have to state my reason on my resignation letter. I could hear the fireworks going off in my head.
The more I thought about it... a calmness came over me. I spoke with some administrative folks told them of my issue and my plans. I slid out of there and was barely noticed by many of those on my school's staff. I made no announcentments.
I did not even tell my coworkers since they were the problem. I was told that one of them would be called in and that they would also be told to not discuss it with me. That worked well. Until the head director of the high school came in my office and asked if I had anything I wanted to talk about. I said, no. He said, 'Well, I just thought that maybe you wanted to discuss something with me.' I said that I could not think of anything that I felt I needed to talk about with him. (Surely this made his head spin...as mine had been all year.)
I know I cannot change people, but if a person is able to break that many rules during the course of a year it is not my place to correct their actions. He was in charge of the band program. He was in a people oriented field. I suspect he was in the wrong field because he did not know how to treat people. I was not his superior. I had reported some issues to my superior.
The day after was one of the best days I have had in so long. I missed those that I taught. My students have always had a special place in my heart. I miss teaching, but I do not miss work with those that I left.
All of the above is true. I have left out all specifics so that location, persons in involved are not easily identifiable. I would truly hope that people who work with one another would make every attempt to treat each other with respect. Respect can go a long way. Lack of respect may continue awhile, but once the victim finds a way out... they will leave.
I did not see this as a nail in my coffin. I saw this as being to celebrate my life which had been impacted horribly since I was in that situation. I must admit that the pay was decent and it allowed my annuity to be boasted a few dollars. The pay was not worth staying, though. I do not need money that bad. I have not touched my own instrument since I retired. I have gone this amount of time before without playing my instrument. I have had to take a total break from music.This has been the largest negative impact to my career in music. I can compare it to flat out abuse.
One must follow their heart. If you are not in the right place for whatever reason you must do what is best for you. Do not wait until it causes health issues. It is not worth it. You are worth it to you family and to your friends. Don't think that there is not another place for you. There is. You will find it in time. Good Luck.