Saturday, February 27, 2010

Music to my ears

Back in November, I caused a stir by sending an unauthorized email to our PTA email list regarding the lack of performances for half the school. I was asked to resign moderatorship of the list, which I refused. Since then, my reception with the PTA has been "cool" at best (including several facebook unfriendings, which FB totally ratted them out about by offering them as suggestions for people I might know LOL) . Of course, having fans has never been my motivation in life and I have not let the subject drop( raise your hand if you really thought I would. I'm the person that wouldn't eat at Chevy's for 3 years because i broke my toe there and no one asked if I was ok).

Because of my persistence in the matter, the music teacher was invited to the November PTA meeting, where, after seeing it wasn't my own personal crazy and other parents didn't like it either, she agreed to schedule some in class performances for the grades not doing musicals. Lame and a total cop-out, when she easily could have put an additional grade on stage before the musical, had them sing a couple of songs and be done, however, after she made it clear that she isn't REQUIRED to do ANY type of performance, I figured it was the best we were going to get and decided to leave well enough alone.

Since November, I have emailed her at least 3 different times, asking when she plans to get the performances scheduled. At the meeting, we were told they would be in January, February and March, so they would be over by the spring musical in April. Well, as of today, not only have none been done, none are even scheduled. I emailed her again tonight, asking for a concrete date and not the blow off she has given me the other times I've emailed about it. Her previous email, sent Feb 1st, said she knew the "what" (inviting parents to join the class in their classroom and seeing music education first hand) but not the when. She assured me parents would have plenty of notice about it.

Tonight's email pointed out that we are near the end of 3rd quarter, that I'm emailing about this AGAIN and I'm afraid these things she promised, in the face of angry parents, won't actually happen because the end of the year gets crazy. I also cced the principal on this email, hoping to encourage her to get some concrete information to parents.

I really think she believes if she ignores this long enough, I'll drop it. Not only is she totally off-base with that idea, she is sadly mistaken if she thinks that once my kid in in a grade that performs, I'll back off about it. What she fails to realize, I'm certain, is that I have another kid coming in and they will be on opposite years. Until my kids or that teacher is gone from that school, I won't be letting this subject drop. She doesn't understand the mess she has unleashed on herself by tangling with me. I will NEVER let her off the hook.

However, I'm at the point that fighting the battle by myself isn't that effective. So, if I haven't heard from her by the end of the week, I intend to pull out my handy-dandy school directory and type in all the email addresses of all of the K, 2nd, and 4th grade parents (198 students out of 407 total) and encourage them to start contacting her and the principal. It is time this is taken care of. When I sent the original email to the PTA list, I was accused of "trying to start a riot" against this teacher and encouraging a "torch and pitchfork mentality" among the parents. Honestly, if that is what people want to believe about me, then I'm willing to make it a self-fulfilling prophesy. I will not use the email list to contact the parents because that is viewed as an abuse of my moderator powers. However, everyone in the school has the directory (I know, I made and passed out all the copies myself) and has the same ability that I do to contact other parents to take a stand.

On slightly more positive note, I'm willing to bet no one approaches me about being on the board this year. LOL

Despite this issue, I still love the school. I still think the administration and staff are among the best in the district. I think, in general, the teachers are hard working and really care about the kids. I think that the parents are involved and everyone is interested in making the school the best that it can be. This is a minor detail in the grand scheme of school choices but it is my current soapbox.


makeup_girl said...

Oh, Freak. If my kids were in your school, I'd be fighting this battle right along with you. When you first wrote about this, I was pissed off at your school. It's not like I have any affiliation with the school, but now I'm so very angry.

What is the music teacher's reasoning behind not having the grades perform? Does she claim it is too time consuming? What a shitty teacher. I hope you find that website that reviews teachers and go to town. (Although I'm sure that won't help you out much in your fight against such stupidity!)

And by sending an email out to the are just keeping them informed, and encouraging them to be involved in their kids' education. Sharpen that pitchfork, and keep marching!

Please keep us posted!

The Fearless Freak said...

To quote her "music is a process, not a product and spending weeks prepping for a concert takes away from other things they could be learning" My point in response "We aren't asking for perfection. These are grade school kids not the 3 Tenors. All we want is to see our children perform something. Also, art is a process but at the end of the day, my child is bringing home his art saying 'look what I made' as far I know, he isn't learning anything in music because he has yet to come home and demonstrate anything you are working on" She also said that she prefers doing musicals instead of just performances and those are more intensive and time consuming so she only has time for 3 grades. But she has "almost 100% buy-in with the kids doing the musicals, they get really excited about it" Since I realize she teaches music not math, I felt compelled to point out that "100% of half the school is still only 50% and I'm sure most of the kids get excited about performing but aren't being allowed".

Boy, was board shooting daggers at me at that meeting LOL

imarogers said...

I love your tenacity! I would also be right there with you. I believe that performance of music, acting, etc. helps self esteem. I don't know what I would have done without my music "career" in grade school and high school.

The Fearless Freak said...

The update on this was that I finally ran the principal down last week and he assured me this is being scheduled the end of April and the beginning of May but do to class parties, field trips, etc, it is having to be approved by each classroom teacher, individually. I approve of this but don't intent to let the matter drop.

Some of the other teachers, including WF's teacher, the art teacher and a 4th grade teacher put together a talent show that was a great success and addressed the lack of performance for many of the kids. Of course, the difference there is that it was voluntary, so not all of the kids did it. Either way, it was a lot of time and effort and I sent in Thank You notes to all of them so they know that at least I appreciated it. As a slight ulterior motive, it hopefully shows them that I can appreciate hard work and do more than bitch and complain!

Hopefully, there will be a resolution to this shortly but I do intend to continue petitioning the principal about changing this plan for next year as this was a new thing they were "trying out". I'm hopeful they keep in mind the waves that were caused by doing this and rectify the situation going forward