May 2007

Expectations without excuses

May 14, 2007 20:05

I played at church Sunday-all Bach (Preludio from E major partita, Bach/Gounod Ave Maria, and slow movement of the a minor concerto. It was a nice respite from the Strauss of last weekend. I don't get to perform as much as I'd like. One of my colleagues is proud of the fact that she never practices her cello anymore.

And then what a mixed bag today. I had the last class of the year for my Suzuki kids-we just had treats and they got their participation awards. It's been such a positive group of kids and awed everybody when we play from Allegro to Twinkle
all together from memory.

Then on to the Middle School. I really used to enjoy middle school. I have exactly 1 student who has actually fulfilled the portfolio requirements for being an arts magnet student. The majority don't give a rip and nobody does anything to enforce the policies that would ensure a minimum of quality.

I just don't get it. The district really does provide an opportunity for these students to benefit from all the arts have to offer. And honestly, we are doing them a big disservice when those who don't appreciate it and do not follow through on the requirements are not booted out. I shouldn't have to ask an 8th grader to stop plucking violently between pieces multiple times (that violin got taken away this week). That student has been tardy 62 times this year-why is she still there? I shouldn't have to spend 20 minutes waiting for them to execute rest-ready-play all at the same time. And I know exactly when 12:30 p.m. hits (appoximately the golden mean of my block schedule class) without looking at the clock because I have about 5 students who will start hanging their heads and complaining about something. We do have a concert Wednesday. So tomorrow, I still be insisting while they are resisting. Somehow, I WILL raise the level of expectations those students have for themselves.

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