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Need to vent and ask for a *little* encouragement

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Teaching music is hard and is basically rots.

I teach chorus and general music and this year's schedule has changed SOOOOOOO much that I DON'T HAVE TIME TO USE THE BATHROOM during the day. It's not just my schedule, but all the Arts teachers. We are running ragged and I work so hard just to make ends meet within my choral program.

Well with this new fangled schedule - chorus is now up against 'electives' like YOGA, ARCHERY, DIGITAL PHOTOS, TENNIS, to name a few. Now, maybe I'm just a looney but these should NOT be taught during a school day - by a 'non-certified' teacher. Every third day is spent doing this 'extra' stuff. Chorus used to be up against recess and study hall. Now kids have all these other choices.

I'm losing kids left and right (more than the band because students don't have a financial committment in chorus). The administration thinks this schedule is God's gift to FMS.

I have to give assessments and grades in Chorus and none of these other classes do. The schedule not only is grueling, but makes me look like a bad guy because I hold the kids to their committment.

I'm just really mad right now because I work so hard and these other teachers just throw together something to keep the kids busy for 37 minutes while I'm working my tail off to give concerts. They all want to take yoga and tennis rather than actually work and perform. In 4th grade, students have nothing scheduled against chorus and their chorus is 120 strong in just that one grade. I should be having at least 90-100....but I'm only at 85.

I just want to give up I work so hard every day and only to come home to emails like this:

"my son would like to drop chorus to take digital photography".....
post #2 of 16
Ok, this is coming from a tone deaf person who should Never Ever sing a note within earshot of another living creature...


I think of it this way, you have lower number, but the ones who are there are the ones who are dedicated and really want to learn all you have to teach. They are not just there to get an easy credit.

These will be the students most devoted and committed to providing a great performance. You will not have to deal with the goof offs or someone like me, who no matter how you try will be a really loud horrible note that stands out from everyone else.

Always remember what a horrible place the world would be without music. Singing is an ancient custom and you are contributing to keeping it alive for future generations. Who knows one of your dedicated students just might end up entertaining the world some day.

Although you feel it is thankless, know that those of us who listen to music everyday are grateful for music teachers the world over!
post #3 of 16
It is a shame that no one has time for music any more. . . or to rephrase that make their own music. I love love love to sing, and I would love to teach chorus, I hope that the ones that do stay are devoted to singing. I hope they learn well, and perhaps they will learn the same appreciation for it as you have! You have to think, if they did not want to be there, they would not give it their all, and better to have people that want to be there, then those that dont. . .
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks,

I know I'm PMSing and I'm crying because of it - but that was nice.


Now onto the other reason I'm crying:



I'm debating on taking down my Christmas tree. No matter what, Stoli and Luxor WILL NOT stay out of it. I am constantly fixing lights, ornaments and branches. It looks awful now. I hate it. I don't want it up if it's going to look like that. I've already compromised and am not using garland or breakable ornaments anymore.

They are locked in a kitty proof room for the night even though I want stoli to sleep with me. I haven't gotten ANY sleep since we've put that tree up and no one is learning.

I didn't sleep last night until all the cats went to bed. Tonight was the last straw. I'm over tired, I'm out of my anxiety meds and I had to YANK luxor out of the tree. He pulled three strands of lights with him.

I put them in the room and I spent the last 45 minutes fixing (or trying to) fix the tree. I still looks awful. The lights are all screwed up, the ornaments look awful now. The branches they used to be placed on are all messed up so now they don't look so 'ornamenty'. The presents are all over the floor - I tried wrapping some to keep the tree skirt in place.

I LOVE Christmas and I LOVE decorating the tree. I have all these BEAUTIFUL glass ornaments of paris and wedding and nutcracker that I have NO place to put up. I love my cats but I just am so depressed that I can't even have a tree.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I understand where you are coming from - believe me. But I also have to realize the middle school mind -

they blow the way the wind blows and change direction every 5 seconds. A choice they make could be just awful for them the next day if their friend doesn't like what they are wearing.

I don't let students make choices on a whim. I make all my students stick out the trimester (even though they AND their parents have signed up for a year). You have to teach the parents too. Everyone thinks that they can just switch out whenever they feel like.

It just can't work that way. If everyone came and went as they pleased all the other Arts teachers would have a continually fluctuating roster with they DESPISE.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
Thanks,

I know I'm PMSing and I'm crying because of it - but that was nice.


Now onto the other reason I'm crying:



I'm debating on taking down my Christmas tree. No matter what, Stoli and Luxor WILL NOT stay out of it. I am constantly fixing lights, ornaments and branches. It looks awful now. I hate it. I don't want it up if it's going to look like that. I've already compromised and am not using garland or breakable ornaments anymore.

They are locked in a kitty proof room for the night even though I want stoli to sleep with me. I haven't gotten ANY sleep since we've put that tree up and no one is learning.

I didn't sleep last night until all the cats went to bed. Tonight was the last straw. I'm over tired, I'm out of my anxiety meds and I had to YANK luxor out of the tree. He pulled three strands of lights with him.

I put them in the room and I spent the last 45 minutes fixing (or trying to) fix the tree. I still looks awful. The lights are all screwed up, the ornaments look awful now. The branches they used to be placed on are all messed up so now they don't look so 'ornamenty'. The presents are all over the floor - I tried wrapping some to keep the tree skirt in place.

I LOVE Christmas and I LOVE decorating the tree. I have all these BEAUTIFUL glass ornaments of paris and wedding and nutcracker that I have NO place to put up. I love my cats but I just am so depressed that I can't even have a tree.
I am sorry you are having such a bad day. it is hard when you don't feel appreciated, I am having the same issues with my tree, Lucky is driving me crazy, when I'm not chasing her out of the tree, I am trying to fix it.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
how can you deal with that? I just get so depressed when I look at my tree.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
how can you deal with that? I just get so depressed when I look at my tree.
I don't know, I have three children never had problem keeping them out of the tree, I finally started putting Lucky in her crate, for a few minutes this afternoon, I am hoping that works, I tried all the suggestions on another post a few days ago, she does care that I put dryer sheets under the tree, or the citrus airfreshner.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
oh oh, where's that thread?
post #10 of 16
I have been trying to find it
post #11 of 16
That is very sad I always hear about things like "save the music" and we really do need to save it. Our school was going through some shifts like that because our principal didn't see any educational gain in music class and singing!!!! It made me so mad because I love siging! I was in 7 choir my senior year of high school, not all school choirs. I just couldn't imagine life without music. I wish you luck and hope things work out for you. I'll come be in your choir!
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbjerkness View Post
I have been trying to find it
I just posted on it sprays or anything to help kitties off of trees
post #13 of 16
I am so sorry that people aren't staying committed to your choir like they should! Parents should make their kids stick with things and teach them that a commitment is a commitment. I know that it is hard now, but stick with it!! Something will surely happen to lift your spirits soon!! Don't try to make a decision about the tree right now, you are upset and that will color everything. You might want to try putting some of the 'chaser' lights on your tree. (the ones with the multiple settings) They seem to keep my cats away from the tree. And as far as your breakable ornaments that you love, you could put up a garland over the mantel or a doorway and wire your precious ornaments in there. Or maybe even a wreath and hang it inside somewhere that you can see it a lot. (just be sure to wire them in so that they can't fall out) That is what another poster on here suggested. (I can't remember who or where) That way you can still enjoy your pretties and not have to worry about bad kitties! I hope that helps!
post #14 of 16
I gave up trees a long time ago. With 7 cats, that is just not happening in my house.

I have a friend however who just couldn't completely give up having her ornaments where she could see them once a year. She has many heirloom ones.

So she made a wire frame shaped like half a tree that would hang on the wall. She used chicken wire because she covered it.

She added some type of green stuff to make it have some tree like color then hung all her ornaments on it. She hangs this on the wall every year where her cats can't get to it.

Anther option, do you have an outside tree you can decorate?
post #15 of 16
There is a bright side The students that are signing up for your class really want to be there, not just taking it because it's the only thing offered. It seems to me that this would be a benefit. The number of students in the class is not what's important. It's the quality of the students that you have and their strong desire to be there.

I think that's a good thing
post #16 of 16
For what it's worth -- nothing in my school career ever did so much for me as choir. Not only did I learn a lot of great music and develop my voice (and guitar and piano) in directions I would never have found on my own, but I also learned how to work as part of a team to create something beautiful that I could never make by myself. That's a precious lesson.

And just the pure joy of singing with others, of hearing your own voice slot right into the harmony and make it complete... there's nothing like it! Once you've sung in a choir, I don't think you ever forget how it feels.

To me, there's something so personal and intimate about the human voice. It was during my years in choir that I fell in love with voices, and they're an endless source of delight to me, a great enrichment to my life.

So maybe you're not reaching as many kids as you would like... but you're doing something so wonderful for those you do have! If you ever for a moment doubt the value of what you're doing, just come talk to me.

I believe that music -- real music, not the formulaic pre-fab drivel we all hear 'way too much of -- is the single greatest invention of mankind. And you've devoted your life to helping kids understand and appreciate and participate in it! Don't let anything discourage you!
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