Re: Small School Band Help
Posted by Curious on 5/9/2021, 4:05 pm, in reply to "Small School Band Help"
I have done this at two schools. First things first...don't let anyone one campus say anything negative about the program. That means students (band kids and general population), teachers, administrators, support staff...ANYONE! If you hear someone bad-mouthing the program, put a stop to it. When the band kids hear you defending them and saying only positive things about the program, they are yours forever. |
After that, focus on sound fundamentals at all levels. At my current school, the high school kids had the same performance abilities as my 6th graders. They tried to act up in class and joke around. You can't tolerate that. I wise director once said "I can be friendly, but I'm not here to be your friend." You'll certainly have kids quit. Those are the kids who thought band was just a blow off class. The kids who care will stay. The first few years will be rough. Make sure your admin knows that. It takes a long time to build a program, but no time at all to destroy one.
As for funding, take advantage of any honeymoon period that you can get. Take a close look at your numbers, instrumentation, and inventory to determine only what you truly need at the moment. If you ask for the moon, you aren't going to get it. Do your best with fundraisers to show that you are trying to supplement what your admin is giving you. I did some high-profit fundraisers and bought some rather expensive equipment. My principal asked me about the new equipment so I told her that, while I appreciate the financial support I was receiving from the school, it was not enough to purchase everything we needed. She asked me for a proposal of what I needed. She was able to secure funding for about 3/4 of that proposal. On that note, visit your admin regularly. When I started at my current school, I went down to the office at least three times a week just to be seen. If you hide in your corner of the world, you will be looked over.
Get your kids out in front of the public. They need to perform. That's what they are there for.
As for you personally, take care of yourself. It will be tempting and extremely easy to overwork yourself. Hopefully there is another director there to work with you to turn the program around. Keep your chin up. There will be days when you go home and question your life choices. There will be other days when a student will smile and say "have a good weekend" that will melt your heart. You can do this!