Most important employment factors in considering future teaching positions:

Data results indicated that preservice music teachers perceived administrative support, parental and community

support, and program sustainability as most important factors.


You and the Classroom Teacher

Be prepared for:

  1. If a classroom teacher uses music, he/she will often sing in a range that is too low for young children.

  2. It is common for a classroom teacher to perceive the purpose of the music class as a means to create a planning period in the day.  Even if this is unintentional, he or she may be quite territorial regarding this time period.

  3. The concept that most people have of music class is "fun and games"; a chance to expend some energy; to renew for more serious endeavors.

Win-win strategies:
  1. Make it easy for others to treat you as a professional. Look like one and act like one.
  2. Be proactive in applying cross-curricular concepts. Find out themes being studied.
  3. Be a marketer of your own program. Let others know what is going on.
  4. Do not gossip about other teachers
  5. Use the mom/dad approach with the classroom teacher and discipline.

Teacher to teacher


You and the Principal

  1. Never let him/her be surprised.
  2. Always go through the proper channels; do not bypass your immediate supervisor.
  3. Find a way to promote their vision if possible. Find out what it is and offer assistance.
  4. Make him/her look good.
  5. Keep good things happening and then report them (emails, pictures, performances).
  6. Be a team player.

Teacher to administrator

What is important to an administrator*:

  • Texas Academic Performance Reports
  • Budget
  • Dropout rates
  • Master schedules
  • Mentoring
  • Promotion of the school and district
  • Scholarships
  • Successful and well-rounded alumni
  • Standardized test scores
  • AP course enrollment
  • Community involvement
  • Interscholastic competition
  • Math/science instruction
  • Personnel units (FTEs)
  • Recognition
  • Student involvement in activities to promote school loyalty

You and the Custodian

  1. Treat him/her like a colleague.  Their job is to facilitate learning as is yours. 
  2. Don't be a slob; also teach your classes to pick up after themselves.  Don't make the custodian's job harder than it has to be.
  3. An attitude of cooperation and mutual respect is almost always rewarded with helpfulness.


You and the Parents

What is important to an administrator*:

  • Safe environment

  • Child's happiness

  • Child's academic progress

  • Child's discipline

  • Child's success with schoolwork

  • Preparation for life following graduation

  • Clear information from music director/teacher on time commitment

  • Frequent communication from teachers

  • Philosophical compnonents of the program

  • Positive peer relationships

  • Scholarship opportunities

  • School awareness of child's needs

  • Fair treatment of child

  • Child involved in positive groups


You and the Students

What is important to students*:

  • Having fun

  • Being good at what they do

  • Sense of belonging

  • Developing peer relationships

  • Developing adult relationships

  • Opportunities to lead

  • Being part of something successful

  • Feeling significant

  • Being part of the decision-making process

  • Influencing the future

  • Having clear communication and having trustworthy teachers

  • Understanding why they are being asked to do something

Teacher to student
* Peter Warshaw, Southwestern Musician, May 2009