December 20, 2007

While my principal mentioned many things he wants dealt with, we’ve talked before about how I don’t have my procedures lined up very specifically. Our band has a handbook, and there are minor procedures in that, but *blush* I’ve not really followed it that well, other than our gum rule, which is there is to be none. Ever. We don’t allow any sort of consumable in the band hall other than water. It’s a point of much contention between students.

The Fine Arts head has given me his procedures that he uses at the high school. All of them are very well written up, and very specific. However, there are so many pages of them, it took me fifteen minutes just to type them all back out. I’m gonna post them here to get some specific critiques to them. Yes, I have adapted them to my classroom. Yes, they are lengthy. Yes, they are just notes for the most part, so pardon my grammar and spelling.

First, here are some rules I’m toying with. These come to me from a teacher I worked with when I student taught, though the idea was mine. He just re-framed them.

1. Respect…each other, the rehearsal, the band hall, the instruments, the educational process;
2. Work…hard together to achieve musical success, to be prepared for rehearsal, to help out with the band;
3. Have fun….making music together, learning about music, etc.

And now the procedures to fit under this umbrella. Brace yourself.

Entering: enter quietly, with instrument, ready to go by the bell
tuners: section leaders will pass out tuners. Assistants will pass out hook-ups
music slots: everyone has one, please use it
instrument room: make the trip quickly, get your instrument and go.
section leaders: one person will be designated to gather and pass out music,
perform other necessary functions for each section
sectionals: will continue starting the week after solo and ensemble, Feb 11.
Discipline will be handled according to the discipline matrix

1. make sure you have your music, your instrument, and a pencil before class begins
2. when we sight-read a piece, I will provide that music, which can be found in the bins at the front of the class
3. other additional supplies will be provided for you.
1. please try to limit pass necessities to emergencies.
2. only two passes per class period.
3. fill out the pass log completely
4. be sure I sign it before you leave.
5. please be expedient in your time away from class.
1. Do not adjust the band set up without permission. There is a rhyme and reason to the set up
2. backpacks are to be stored orderly in the corner by the door and are not to block the doors or any other pathway.
3. Stands are for music. Chairs are for sitting. Please use both of these tools with care, as they are expensive and important to the band.
4. Please keep your hands to yourself
5. Please keep your section’s area clean of trash and other clutter.
6. You will be asked to have your instrument out, playing, and participating or you will receive a failing grade for the day.
7. There is to be no gum, candy, food or drink in the band hall unless given express permission. Bottled water is the only exception.
1. Listen and focus on the lesson
2. follow directions the first time
3. make your best effort to understand
4. ask sensible questions at appropriate times
1. announcements: be still, silent and listen even if the announcement doesn’t concern you.
2. Visitors: unless I tell you otherwise, continue with the lesson.
3. If I need to speak with the visitor, remain silent until I am ready to resume class.
4. to gain respect, you must show respect.
1. My office is my workspace. Please knock or ask permission before you enter.
2. No more than 1 or 2 in my office at a time.
3. Please be patient before class and save questions for an appropriate time.
4. I don’t like one hundred million questions at the beginning of class. Please wait until the end.
1. All of your music books and folders should have your name on them
2. Your sheet music should be copies and should have your name on all pages.
3. please number your measures to save time in rehearsals
4. All music should be stored in your music slot at the front of the classroom.
5. All worksheets, permission slips or other communications should be placed in your section’s bin at the front of the classroom.
1. Deep breaths
2. feet flat on the floor, back straight and away from the back of the chair.
3. look up at least once every two measures.
4. Stay with the tempo I give you.
5. Always try your best, even when its hard.
1. When a substitute is present, all class rules and procedures still apply.
2. please follow the instructions the substitute gives you and complete any work assigned.
3. If anyone is unruly or refuses to cooperate while I am gone, appropriate severe action will be taken.
1. Practice rooms are for practicing only, and will not be used for social time, computer work, homework, storing materials, or any other function but practicing unless specifically described by Mr. Harris or Mrs. Stone.
2. When practicing, the lights should be on and the door closed.
3. Even if no one in is in the practice room, the door must remain open.
1. The instrument room is for storing instruments only. Music should be in music slots. Coats, backpacks and other things should be in their appropriate places or on your person.
2. The lights to the room will remain on and the door will remain open. Otherwise, the door will be locked.
3. No one is to be in the instrument room for any reason unless they are putting away or getting out their instrument, or unless asked by Mr. Harris or Mrs. Stone.
1. Only the class currently rehearsing may use the rehearsal space
2. If you are not a percussionist, you are not to touch or move any of the percussion equipment
3. All percussion equipment belonging to the school is to be stored in the rehearsal room or in the office, with all covers placed correctly over instruments.
4. All sticks, mallets, beaters, and accessories should be stored in the cabinet at all times they are not being used.
5. If you take it out, put it back.
6. The rehearsal space is not your bedroom or locker. Please take all personal sticks and kits home with you at the end of the day, and do not store them in the cabinet.

Now that you’ve waited three days and eaten all the food in your house to get to the bottom, is there anything here you see that would be unnecessary. I do know that most of you aren’t band directors, but some of this stuff is common sense.

That said, if there are any band directors in the house…”Please, Obi Wan! You are my only hope!”



  1. Still sounds weird – Mr. Harris. ^_^

  2. As I said in my email to you, I think this is a bit much. Classroom management isn’t about legislating everything – it’s about creating an environment in the space that allows students to understand what is and is not acceptable behavior. Yes, certain things DO need to be spelled out, but it’s impossible to articulate EVERYTHING – kids will find ways around the rules you’ve set down.

    I’d consider writing out a band contract – something that has these things in it – but I wouldn’t consider that part of my “classroom management” strategy. Sure, it’s something that you can show your administrator to prove that you’re working on this, but this isn’t going to be your answer. No, your answer is going to be the way you interact with the students, and what they know they can and cannot get away with…

  3. I’m confused…are these to give to your principal or to give to your kids? Or both? I agree with Mrs. Chili–it’s too much. Too specific. Give yourself some wiggle room; it gets hard to enforce things when everything is so specific. I know what you mean to get across because I have all the same expectations of my kids, but you just need to get the message across without so many words. And you need clear consequences for not following these rules/procedures. If you would like me to email you a copy of my handbook, I’d be happy to oblige (though I know I’m not perfect or anything!). Good luck!!!

  4. @firewings: yeah, most days.

    @ chili: What you said in your last sentence is really the core of the problem: I just don’t know my way around this age group yet.

    @Glenda: These are to be posted in the room, which the principal will be checking on. And please, send me your handbook. I’d love to sample other people’s stuff. agent underscore desilu at hotmail dot com

  5. I just made a poster before break that says:

    1. Work hard
    2. Be kind
    3. Follow rules

    On my class expectations sheet, it actually says “Follow SCHOOL rules,” but I had a limited amount of wall space where I wanted to put the poster 😉

    The class expectations sheet goes into more detail; it’s not so much a list of rules as an explanation of what each of the basic expectations means.

    I try to use the language of the poster when I redirect: “(Name), I need to see that you’re working hard,” “(Name), I’m glad you’re doing YOUR work, but you need to be kind to (Name) and let him do his own,” etc.

    I have several “perches” around the room – comfortable places from which I can observe everyone easily. It’s also good to stay mobile; proximity to students who are having difficulty staying focused can be helpful. The only problem I have with that is that it invariably means I have my back to some of the students.

    Good luck. 🙂

    (I got here via chili, btw)

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