After I spoke at the school board meeting in March (basically to say, “Hey, we should all be on the same page here, and you can start by attending our events to see what wonderful things are really happening in our district.”) I had my spring concert in mid-April, featuring a food theme and ALL the kids in school, grades K-4. It’s rough putting that many kids in a show, simply because it’s impossible to fit all their parents in the cafetorinasium. Some get all grumpy about it, but when your school district cuts budgets, the music teachers don’t get replaced when they retire. We had three retire last year and there are four of us left to cover 9 schools. So each school had one concert for the whole school year this time around.
It’s a damn shame they take away these musical experiences from the kids and even more of a shame that they want us to teach AND parent these kids for less and less money every year. My district has been working without a contract for the whole year, and although I agree some changes need to be made to the system, there has to be a better way than denying us (remember we have a whole lot of education and preparation under our belts to perform this job, NOT TO MENTION the actual personality you have to have in order to survive teaching) fair raises and decent benefits. I love the email that’s going around that details how much teachers would be paid if we stopped paying property taxes and just paid the teachers $3 an hour for just the hours contracted during the school year. It comes out to around $108k and I don’t know any teachers who make that kind of money. But I’d take it and pay my benefits and all my other deductions out of it and STILL make a lot more than I do now as a teacher of 10 years. Holy politics, where did that all come from??!