We settle... we all lose... A bit of a rant.
Of course, that is inappropriate to say, because we all need to support the kids. The problem is that no one draws the line. This teacher is basically untouchable in my view.
Lousy performances.. too long.. boring... Talented young musicians are being driven away. Numbers diminish in the primary ensembles. Programs tend toward flash and sex appeal... everything except excellence and inspiration. Everyone knows there is a problem except of course the administration and the powers that be. They don't choose to listen to experts...
My public commentary, formal letter to principal, and discussion face to face with the teacher last year yielded two significant things.
- Nothing changed in performances, willingness to allow help, or instructional design.
- A full year, where my girls have been psychological targets for passive aggressive manipulation. The commentary, the looks, the hypersensitivity demonstrated by the teacher are all so very subtle. Nothing quite beyond the line. When I hear about it around the dinner table, I am infuriated beyond belief.
Okay there is a third thing. My girls are seriously considering dropping out of the choral program at their high school and I'm considering letting them... What a tragedy.
The last two years have been a journey into the mediocrity of high school choral music for me and my family. I hope it isn't the norm for our world. I fear it is. I admit it... we were spoiled. We had fabulous teachers for our kids in elementary and middle school, and we know so many spectacular music teachers locally and nationally... and that makes the current situation all that much worse. Our repeated offers to help at the HS were politely declined or ignored.
FABULOUS music teachers in our very county are "under employed" or unemployed altogether and yet the same old story reigns. It is clearly about who you know.. not what you do when it comes to teaching around here.
Imagine for a moment if this teacher actually had to compete to keep her job.. as I do every year. What would the education system be like? I wonder.
Regardless, I reject mediocrity and I encourage you to do the same. Expect more of your children and if teachers fail.. step up and find a way to fill the gaps. We as parents are ultimately responsible for our childrens' education.
We as a society should be ashamed at what we allow to parade around claiming excellence, garnering standing ovations, and ultimately failing everyone. Passion, Discipline and Application are the keys to success... from concerts to the board room... Desire to be better and skills to get better must go together...
Is there anything that can be done when a teacher is "just good enough" to keep his or her job? I doubt it, but I am fired up about it. I wish more people were too... then perhaps things could change for the greater good and our kids would be brought along for the ride.