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Am I being unreasonable?? (long)

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My son is going to be in 9th grade - high school - in the Fall.

He has been in band since 5th grade, and 7th/8th grade band was taught by the high school band teacher.

Once he hit 7th grade, we never knew WHAT was going on.  She never sent home information letters regarding performances, dress code for those performances, how early they should be there prior to a performance, she didn't even send home any info. about a band trip they were expected to take 2 hours away - on a Sunday.

Her excuse?  They're old enough to relay that information to the parents.

I do agree (though I taught band for 13 years - middle & high school - and my principal was furious if I didn't send home an info letter prior to EVERY concert and at least 2 weeks in advance), however if SHE doesn't give them the information - or the right information - it makes it a challenge.

Throughout this past year she has skipped his weekly lesson at least 40% of the time - verified by both my son and the other members of his lesson group.  She sits in her office and never comes out - or she's just not there.  Her concerts end up not being what was advertised, they last for HOURS because she makes them restart, and she's just overall really awful.

At the end of the year - like the last couple of days of school - my son came home and told me there was going to be a band camp the 1st week of summer vacation.  He didn't know what time, or where they were meeting.  Just that it was happening.

Here's where I want to know if I'm being unreasonable:

There was NOTHING in the newsletter about this, nothing in the automated phone system that other teachers use to alert parents to activities, nothing via email, no note sent home (of course).  My son texted some other band kids who said they *think* it starts at 8:00am.

So, I drop him off at 7:50.  He texts and says he can't get in the building.  Kids are mulling around, then some teacher stops by (not the band teacher) and says it starts at 9:30.  I go back to pick him up and they see her drive up (this is around 8:15).  So, they stay, and he's texting me now at 8:40 saying she hasn't even started yet.

Am I wrong to think this is INSANE??  She has provided NO information regarding this camp, start/end times, etc.  She's late - or not?? - who knows since no one is sure when it starts - and has them just hanging out while she does GOD KNOWS WHAT.  To me this is absolutely unacceptable and I'd like to write or call her and express my concerns over her lack of organization and planning.  What would you do?

by on Jun. 18, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Replies (11-20):
drfink
by Emily on Jun. 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Do other parents feel as you do ? If so there can be strength in numbers...especially the skipping lessons.

luckysevenwow
by Platinum Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM
1 mom liked this
Out my way there was usually something handed out at the beginning of the year, after that nothing was and the kids were expected to relay everything to us. Same for sports and competitions.

However, she does sound a bit lazy.
the3Rs
by Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 1:52 PM

having it centrally located on a website would be great.  She just doesn't put it anywhere - not even on the board in the room. 

Quoting drfink:

Mine were never in band ,but their non sports activities we did not receive notices except for the final performance of the year...then it was basically a minute to minute breakdown.I know that the band ,choir and dance did this for the final performance because my teens were the techs and were given copies of thr handouts so they would know when the rehersals were.These teachers also emailed or called me to confirm I knew.I think it was because they were not members of the band ,choir or dance and they were male teenage techs....

 I can go to the school calendar and every practice and rehearsal is up .Theater has it's own private....parents and kids only website and  in m.s and h.s. the teachers post rehearsals ,who ,changes, info and the kids are expected to check daily.


Txlisa7969
by Bronze Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 2:52 PM
1 mom liked this

My ODD is in High School band.  They get a schedule at the beginning of the year with all their info for football games, practices, competitions, trips, etc.  It is subject to change and he informs the band if anything changes.  At the end of the school year he gives them a schedule for band camp and marching practice that starts at the end of July.  All information I get is through my daughter.  Now at Middle school level they would send the info home through the mail. 

atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Our director was always there in the summers on time or nearly on time.  Never more  than 5 minutes late at the most.  We had no computers or school calendar to look at way back when, lol. 

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Barabell
by Barbara on Jun. 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I don't have a kid in band, but I don't think you're being unreasonable.

It sounds like the communication issue is more than just the kids not remembering, but due to her being flaky.

mjande4
by Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 9:44 PM
1 mom liked this

The problem has several levels. First, the communication could be A LOT better. Second, at that age it should be the kid's responsibility to relay information. The third piece is replacing a band teacher. In theory that may sound like an easy thing to do, however, FEW people that are actually qualified for the job want it. It's an extra ordinary amount of work for little pay. I'm not excusing the communication breakdown, but there is a reason that the principal isn't listening to you and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with tenure. 

I taught marching band for a year while one of the directors was on sabbatical finishing his doctorate.  Besides the endless Friday night games, the out of town performances/competitions, we traveled and performed in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Parades. I don't think I slept the entire school year AND I still taught five classes during the day. I have the utmost respect for anyone who takes on that endeavor and continues it for more than a year.

the3Rs
by Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 9:58 PM
Yeah. As I said, I was a band teacher for 13 long years. I think that's part of why this frustrates me so much because I know I was much better at communication when I taught:). I know how it *should* be.

But yes, it really does have to do with tenure for her. We would have little trouble filling the position.


Quoting mjande4:

The problem has several levels. First, the communication could be A LOT better. Second, at that age it should be the kid's responsibility to relay information. The third piece is replacing a band teacher. In theory that may sound like an easy thing to do, however, FEW people that are actually qualified for the job want it. It's an extra ordinary amount of work for little pay. I'm not excusing the communication breakdown, but there is a reason that the principal isn't listening to you and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with tenure. 

I taught marching band for a year while one of the directors was on sabbatical finishing his doctorate.  Besides the endless Friday night games, the out of town performances/competitions, we traveled and performed in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Parades. I don't think I slept the entire school year AND I still taught five classes during the day. I have the utmost respect for anyone who takes on that endeavor and continues it for more than a year.

PeaceChild
by Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:00 PM

 

That's exactly what I was thinking.

Quoting Momoftwinkies:

She sounda lazy.


 

mjande4
by Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:26 PM
1 mom liked this


You know we have A HUGE band booster club that does a lot of that type of work. Why don't you volunteer to send out a calendar for the director!?

Quoting the3Rs:

Yeah. As I said, I was a band teacher for 13 long years. I think that's part of why this frustrates me so much because I know I was much better at communication when I taught:). I know how it *should* be.

But yes, it really does have to do with tenure for her. We would have little trouble filling the position.


Quoting mjande4:

The problem has several levels. First, the communication could be A LOT better. Second, at that age it should be the kid's responsibility to relay information. The third piece is replacing a band teacher. In theory that may sound like an easy thing to do, however, FEW people that are actually qualified for the job want it. It's an extra ordinary amount of work for little pay. I'm not excusing the communication breakdown, but there is a reason that the principal isn't listening to you and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with tenure. 

I taught marching band for a year while one of the directors was on sabbatical finishing his doctorate.  Besides the endless Friday night games, the out of town performances/competitions, we traveled and performed in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Parades. I don't think I slept the entire school year AND I still taught five classes during the day. I have the utmost respect for anyone who takes on that endeavor and continues it for more than a year.



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