New Instructor Tips?

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yadadacharles Offline
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New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:18 pm



So recently, my friend and I that marched together began to teach at a local school. There's been all this drama throughout the season (mainly after our first band review). The school itself has never had instructors before and they are thinking more short term than long term when it comes to instrumentation. Yesterday was our last review, and some alumni of the drumline (they were old percussion captains) asked about us. The current percussion captain (the person who got us hired at school) said some people think we are too "negative" when it comes to practice and we are singling out certain individuals and not giving praise to others. I forgot to mention that during rehearsal, people peck and talk while we try to fix things acting as if everyone is their own leader, which gets in the way of what we are trying to say. they also think that adding things a week before a competition (a simple stick change from brushes/ thunder rods after 5 measure of playing the same part) is unnecessary.

What are your thoughts on this? I'd like to get it resolved as soon as possible. We are having auditions this upcoming Tuesday for winter. Hopefully all goes well. If you more experienced techs can give me some feedback on how to approach this, it'll be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advanced.
AHS 2009 to 2011: Snare
San Francisco Renegades 2011: Tenors


alochsta Offline
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Re: New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:37 am



I single people out all the time. Sometimes you have to. But being positive is definitely important as well. Small changes before a show are no big deal within reason. Hell I've made visual and sticking changes in the lot before going to the field for performance. You have to know the kids you're dealing with to know what you can and can't get away with when it comes to things like that.

Bottom line: It sounds like you're probably about 18 or 19 teaching a group that has 16 and 17 year olds in it. I've been there. I started teaching a tiny line when I was 18. Worked my way up to a bigger one several years later. There is no magic fix for the issues you're going to face when you're that young and teaching. You don't get the amount of respect you deserve... period. And as much as people are going to say "command respect", it's not that simple. Somebody that young trying to command respect just looks like a jerk to the rest of the kids.

Honestly... the older I got, add in a marriage, add in kids, the more my students started to respect me as an elder and a wiser person. It had nothing to do with changing up my techniques or learning more about teaching. High school students just don't take well to being instructed by somebody who is still sort of in their world. This is why most schools have rules about age minimums and years-removed for hiring new staff and/or alumni to help.


yadadacharles Offline
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Re: New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:02 am



yeap, you got that age right. LOL, i'm 18, and i'm teaching a fairly big high school line. thanks for all the feedback though. definitely opened up my mind with this kind of stuff. at first I thought it was the kids because I have a ton of friends (around my age) who teach at fairly good schools (James Logan, Amador Valley, Foothill, Leigh, etc). They always tell my friend and me that we should never take all this crap the kids give us, so I thought we as a staff, was doing something wrong. as of being positive, in my honest opinion, I believe that i've been evening out the both negatives and positives in my comments, but I guess it's seen differently through the actual student's eye. weird, I guess.

Again thanks for the feedback. Hope to hear more from others soon.
AHS 2009 to 2011: Snare
San Francisco Renegades 2011: Tenors


dgaking Offline
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Re: New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:48 pm



I starting teching at age 17, right after HS graduation. Now I am 26. Over the years, I have had to deal with less talking and hacking each season. I am sure that part of that is the difference in how the kids perceive me. However, I attribute more of it to how my approach to teaching has improved. Whenever I have started with new students, I have set up my rehearsal structure and explained why I do things the way that I do. Once I establish that, I stick to it as best as I can. Another thing I can tell you is that your 2nd season with a school is going to be 10 times better than your 1st. When the kids show up to the 1st rehearsal, most of them will know what to expect. Having been through a season with you, they have realized what worked and what didn't. They will be more likely to cooperate. In some cases, my students have had to learn the hard way. They have put in a season where they didn't work as hard as they should, and they didn't get the results they desired. They learned more important life lessons in a season like that than in a more successful one, and it led to them being more successful in the future.

Evaluate yourself at the end of each season and think of what you should and shouldn't do to make the next season go better.


sxetnrdrmr Offline
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Re: New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:16 pm



also remember that the older kids in the line are not going to be super-receptve to a new teaching style...but YOU are not to change, they are. The best thing to d ois to define rehearsal techniques and expectations first thing in indoor. Just lay it on the line. I had to do this 15 years ago with my group. I even said out loud "this is how we are going to be practicing from now on. If you WANT to be good, you HAVE to be good in all aspects. If you don't agree with what we are doing, there is the door". Nobody walked out, and by the end of that one rehearsal the "old way of doing it" was gone.

Now mind you, I didn't open the rehearsal with this statement; I had prefaced it by defining the goals for the year, showing vid of DCI groups practicing and using that as an example...but I did want them to realize that I was serious.

The bigger challenge is following through. YOU have to live by the code: Actions SPeak Louder Than Words. Rehearsal needs to run the same way all the time, and expectations need to be clearly met. The kids will crave consistency and fairness...and will call you in a heartbeat when that is broken. Don't be a "false" instructor.

As far as calling people out...that is the nature of the activity. You have to let people clearly know that they HAVE to be able to take constructive criticism. I always tell my kids..."you are going to be critiqued in the open." The big thing is to make sure that EVERYONE gets critiqued. I will lay into my center snare as much as my freshman noob bass drummer. That is another thing that you will get called out for...picking on only certain people. I even let my older kids know that I might be calling them out on imaginary stuff just to keep it "even"
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

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Its' All about the Parking Lot - Watterson Drumline
www.bishopwattersondrumline.webs.com
OSUMB Tenor tech
Pearl
Zildjian
Innovative Percussion
Remo/Evans


DrewAnderson Offline
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Re: New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:56 pm



rome wasn't built in day. you might not be exactly the instructor you want to be your first year but that's because you're students have never had drum techs before, they have to acclimate to a culture of accountability and ensemble maturity that you're bringing in. you can be a little tougher next year once the kids are used to you and respect you more.
Brahma from USF 2009-2010
Florida State University "Big 8" Drumline 2010-2013
Crossmen 2011
Cadets 2012-2013
Rhythm X 2014


dgaking Offline
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Re: New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:32 pm



sxetnrdrmr wrote:I even let my older kids know that I might be calling them out on imaginary stuff just to keep it "even"
That is awesome. I don't know why I never thought of it. I might have to use that.


sxetnrdrmr Offline
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Re: New Instructor Tips?

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:11 pm



dgaking wrote:
sxetnrdrmr wrote:I even let my older kids know that I might be calling them out on imaginary stuff just to keep it "even"
That is awesome. I don't know why I never thought of it. I might have to use that.
I will also sometimes have my older kids go up to the tick boy/girl during down time and sit and play with them, and then have them ask said tick boy/girl for critique. That way the tick person doesn't feel like their opinion (of themselves and otehrs) is not valid. The older kids will say "see, you saw it in my playing...now look for it in yours. Be your own critic first and ticks will go away" This makes tick person feel like they have ownership of their part in the line and then they focus more on being right than being wrong...rather than them always feeling like they are on the outside all the time.
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

ImageImage

Image

Its' All about the Parking Lot - Watterson Drumline
www.bishopwattersondrumline.webs.com
OSUMB Tenor tech
Pearl
Zildjian
Innovative Percussion
Remo/Evans


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