After forced retirement in 2017, I made it my life’s mission to advocate for the better treatment of teachers. In spite of my tenured status, my job security could not withstand the forces of those who wanted me removed. My choral program experienced success on the state, national and international levels. During the final years of my last position, I received public recognition for my work as an educator: Outstanding Choral Director in Choral Education by the Colorado Springs Chorale; Boettcher Outstanding Colorado Teacher; recognized for my work with Special Needs children; invited to present my paper “Assessing the Singer, Making the Choir Accountable” to the Third International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education held in Bremen, Germany.
Could this happen to you? Yes! In my research, I discovered a national trend of driving out experienced, skilled educators in the name of reduced budgets. While school administrators cannot fire a tenured teacher without cause, they can make teachers’ lives miserable with resignation the only option to escape the harassment. Such is the case in my district where the process actually has a name: Exile Isle. Don’t become a victim. Start the school year with the fierce determination to protect yourself from parents, colleagues or administrators who bully.
I love living in the incredible majestic Rocky Mountains, as the picture suggests. The atmosphere of my home state of Colorado continues to bolster me after a rather abrupt ending to my career. If I hadn’t been terminated, I would not be compelled to fight for my teaching colleagues. The synopsis of my book titled Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child! is best stated:
The teacher disparity in pay teeters on the tip of the iceberg. How American culture treats teachers, through entitled parents, social media and lack of support from administrators, is the deplorable underbelly of this glacial mass.
My memoir comes laced with narratives of success, failure, passion, teachable moments and what it means to be called teacher. Exceptional educators are leaving the ranks. Our educational system is broken. This book not only addresses the brokenness but more importantly contributes real solutions gained through 46 years of research.
Understanding the point of view of students, parents, administrators and teachers is paramount to revitalizing our educational system. Who better to elevate the national conversation for positive change than a 46 year veteran teacher.
Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope you find it entertaining and insightful. Whether you are a new or seasoned teacher, a parent, an administrator, or you are curious about teacher issues, this blog is for you. After each Blog is a place for Comments or you may submit a question or feedback via the Contact page. I can’t wait to hear from you!
On another note (pun intended), as a choral director and voice coach I’ve had the honor to work with students who are currently performing on the national stage:
Scottie Johnson- Gin Blossoms
Scott MacIntyre- Top 8 in Season 9 of American Idol
Todd MacIntyre- national tour of Mama Mia
James Valentine- singer/guitarist with Maroon 5
Nate Zuercher- Judah and the Lion
I was blessed their journey passed through my orbit for I take no credit for their incredible success.