Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Things That Just Don't Make Sense: Music Teacher Edition Badass Teachers Association

Badass Teachers Association:

Things That Just Don't Make Sense: Music Teacher Edition



by Dr. Mitchell Robinson, BAT Leadership Team

originally published on his blog:  http://www.mitchellrobinson.net/2016/08/02/things-that-just-don-t-make-sense-music-teacher-edition/ 

Over the last few weeks I've had the good fortune to spend time with my favorite group of persons: music teachers. And whenever I get a chance to hang with music folks we have the best conversations--and by that, I mean that I hear some absolutely jaw-dropping, eye-popping stuff about what is actually happening out in their schools with respect to educational policy and practice.

To be clear, in many school districts, things are going swimmingly: music programs are healthy and robust, performing ensembles are full and thriving, and schedules are constructed so as to make students' learning comprehensive and teachers' duties reasonable. But in too many places, decisions are being made that just don't make sense.

For example...

  • In one large urban school district, music teacher candidates are being asked to react to math and reading data during their interviews for a music teaching position. The justification from the district was along the lines of, "every teacher in our schools plays a role in producing these test results, so every teacher is required to understand what the data means and how to use it to improve their teaching."

    Except that every teacher in the district DOES NOT play a role in those students' test scores in those subjects--music teachers are not responsible for teaching the information on these tests, and should not be expected to teach this information. They weren't prepared to teach these subjects in their undergraduate or graduate Badass Teachers Association:

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