Archive | November, 2010

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Saw “Waiting For Superman” with mixed emotions…

Posted on 19 November 2010 by urbanmusiceducation.org

We went last night to a special showing of the new documentary Waiting For Superman as a staff after our staff meeting . It was interesting and, I have to admit, a little exciting to be out with my co-workers in the theater, all of us there thinking that we are “great teachers” and yet faced with the reality that we work in a school similar to those on the film labeled as “failing”. The film was depressing. I left with a sense of failure- not in my students or school, but in myself for choosing a career that is virtually in the toilet from the get-go and is so misrepresented in society. Not to mention, that the ARTS are never mentioned in the film as any kind of a solution. It seems like I grew up in the wrong generation and needed to teach in the era where society was turning a blind eye to what was going on in classrooms and teachers were actually getting to teach, minds were being molded, and schools were churning out artistic, well-rounded children who weren’t afraid of failure. Was there even ever such a time? I am worried our school will be one of the “turnaround” schools in the future despite the hard work of our staff to raise test scores in an effort to rescue our reputation.

At the same time, I felt empowered to become active, but not through my teacher union, of which I am reluctantly a member only to get the protection of lawyers who can save me in the event of a false accusation by a student. I don’t even know if that’s true anymore and have been seriously considering taking my $64/month dues and investing in my own dwindling classroom budget. Instead I am reading a few great blogs and am quietly waiting for God to show me the way to let me voice be heard. I prayed today that He will watch over my career and that He would show me the direction I am to take. It saddens me to think that I, a humble music teacher, lucky to even still have my job, could possibly be caught up in a hurricane of a poorly run district-run-like-a-business that could eventually lead to my brand new instruments, technology, and pride collecting dust in a closed down school building.

And finally, I felt strange that I am choosing (lucky enough?) to send my own kids to a charter school despite what I believe about the importance of public education. I like my daughter’s school and they are high achieving, but their arts program leaves little to be desired. If only I could get a job there…:) Anyway, I don’t know if I am strong enough to be a reformer yet. I am too on the fence right now about unions (being that I am non-probationary, but a music specialist is a weird position). I know for sure I am good at what I do and I love it. I just don’t know where God is going to take this. This is where faith kicks in.

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