4 thoughts on “AS 309 – As a Woman…

  1. Even though I am mostly retired – still teaching 15 students in a small, private Quaker school after 37 years of teaching in a large public school district – I enjoy watching your fb posts and listening to your podcasts. Haven’t listened to this one yet because retirement is busy and I haven’t had the time but I plan to this weekend! I started teaching in 1978 in the school district where I grew up. It was a wonderful career and I taught many, many wonderful musicians including my own three children. My husband and I taught in the same school for most of the years. It was nice that he was there along with my kids to push percussion up the ramps to the stage and set up and tear down many, many times over the years as well as fix instruments and drive our equipment trailer to competitions. Some of my favorite “woman” stories include: the junior/senior high directors (3 men) saying at a department meeting “You woman down there (referring to the 3 women who taught elementary band) need to be sure you’re teaching tonguing!” and an adjudicator actually saying on taped comments “I wasn’t sure what we were going to hear when your HUGE jazz band walked on the stage. I thought you were just some kind lady who let every kid in because you had a soft heart. And then I heard them articulate that first note in tune with precision and style and it just kept getting better.” For many years, I was the only female director in the ms jazz competiton we did. It was a little intimidating as I was middle aged and short and the other directors were all young and hip. They became my friends and a few even asked for my professional opinions – win! When I retired my family, friends, former students, and band parents went together to have a song commissioned for my retirement. We played it at my last concert directing. It’s Randall Standridge’s “Lux Spiritus” (Spirit of Light). I hope others enjoy performing it as much as we did. I retired, was sad, got a new job teaching in a less stressful, less demanding situation and just started my 40th year. I went from nearly 300 students to 15 and doing grade 2.5-3 compositions to 1-1.5. My words of wisdom – teach the students in front of you with no excuses, lead with pride and passion and always remember that you are there to serve them as their teacher. Teach with a servant attitude and your kids will remember you for many years and more importantly learn they will learn what it is to give of yourself for the common good.

  2. In the Houston area, I have noticed the trend in female head high school directors getting a position at an interview is very low. Most of the current female heads have “inherited” their positions after being the assistant at that same school (under a man). I have interviewed for several positions and am just as qualified as any other director applying, but at the end of the day I find head positions are being filled by men. At any district meeting with directors and observing the ratio of head directors male vs. female, there are only two female heads in my district, and Yes, they were inherited. My first year at the high school level I didn’t baby the students, I had a parent tell me, “it’s because you don’t have children.” Sorry, I have expectations for every student and will not treat any kid differently. Is it the same in your area with head positions?

    1. One of our high school head directors is a girl, but the others are guys. She did not inherit the position. I’m sure women have put their name in the hat when positions have come open, but I’m honestly out of touch with what women in the area are interested in those positions. They certainly don’t come open often.

      I HATE when parents use the “you don’t have kids” reasoning… Total cop out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *