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"She's our best friend," but she's not a great teacher. - Elf M. Sternberg
"She's our best friend," but she's not a great teacher.
Omaha and I last night went to Storm's high school choral presentation. We've had a lot of problems with the choir teacher-- she plans things at the last moment, never sends out messages to the parents about goings on in her choral program, and surprises everyone at the last minute with notices about trips and performances.

Case in point: we learned about the Thursday Night performance, at the local theater, two days before it happened. What's worse is that Thursday night is a night when Storm is scheduled to be with her mother, a woman I have tried (really, I have) to get along with, but haven't succeeded yet. She can't drive, either, so there was no way she was going to be able to get Storm to the performance.

I won't go into the politics of schedule coordinating with a reluctant ex, but the problems were completely exacerbated by the choir teacher's persistent incomptence about keeping parents in the conversation about her calendar. Worse, we got conflicting information about when the schedule started. Kouryou-chan had a late afternoon doctor's appointment, so after making sure Storm would make the 4:30 rehearsal we went to take care of that responsibility. We got back around 6pm, at which point we were all hungry for dinner. We drove to the theater to find out if the performance started at 6:30, which would condemn us to fast food, or 7:00, which would let us go to a decent restaurant.

When Omaha told the usher the story, the usher rolled her eyes and said, "Yeah, that sounds like the chorus teacher. It starts at 7:00."

The performances themselves were middling fair, but many of the soloists were tragic. The choir teacher lets soloists volunteer, rather than picking them herself. She doesn't want to be accused of picking winners and losers. Everyone in her program gets a star. Some of the soloists couldn't hold a note in a bag. Only two had voices worth cultivating, and the lesser of those two had the most effective stage presence, and I mean real presence. With practice, those two could have careers in music, but the rest-- no.

I mean, what are we paying this woman to do? Later, she had an "awards" ceremony, giving out awards for progress and merit and whatnot, and one of the students said, "She is our best friend."

Which is exactly the problem. She is not leading, she is not cultivating talent. Teaching is a side-effect of her She's shepherding these kids through a sleepwalk easy elective. Like the principal herself, she's just makin' sausage.

Anyway, Storm did her part just fine. No less, and no more sadly, then what was asked of her. We went to ice cream afterwards.

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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pakraticus From: pakraticus Date: June 4th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

I feel for you.

I've spent the past four years enduring a marginally better choral teacher for my eldest. This teacher does attempt to cultivate stars, but as far as I can tell it's so her vacations are subsidized by choral performances away from school.

I'm curious does the "Being a friend" come with students that are preferred due to a finer talent in brown nosing? We've had to deal with that in art and chorus.
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