Any good band teacher doesn’t want to lose his or her students. But you will sometimes find that you can’t help it – a student may simply lack interest and drop out, and there’s not much you can do if the student simply won’t put the effort. In fact, you might breathe a sigh of relief at losing a student that’s dragging everyone else down.

But those are not the students we’re talking about here. We talking about those students you lose – and it’s entirely your fault. James Divine shares 11 reasons why you’re losing your band students – and what you can do to keep them instead:

  1. You have roving eyes

There are teachers that just won’t focus on the here and now. They demand perfection here and now, and nothing else will do.

teacher-eyeMake the best of who and what you have. Develop them to their fullest ability. Miles Davis could be weird at times anyway. Via NAfME

  1. Ignoring your student’s calls and emails

Some teachers feel like they would waste a lot of time if they had to respond to each and every student that reached out to them away from class time. In fact, they even that it would take away from their time to adequately prepare for lessons.

If a student takes the time to call or email you, it is generally because he wants to do well and improve. If you don’t respond in a timely manner, you are showing lack of concern for them. Many times students have told me I’m the only teacher who responds to their emails. Via NAfME

  1. Paying no attention from your students’ feedback

A lot of band teachers lay down the rules and are not interested in any ideas their students may offer on how to improve the learning process. They fail to understand that there’s plenty of room for improvement even for an instructor.

you-shall-not-passListen to student feedback, even if you disagree. Maybe there is a compromise in there somewhere. Listen carefully if it’s coming from your leaders. Via NAfME

  1. Not getting to know your students

It may seem like too much of an effort to find out about your students’ families, future plans or social activities. Besides, it should just be about the music, right?

Before, after and during breaks in rehearsal, get to know about your students’ families, jobs, dreams, interests and hobbies. Via NAfME

  1. Teacher knows best

You want to win that competition, because it will make you look good, so you do everything in your power to get your students to attain your goals.

Isn’t it ok to play a Disney song once in awhile? Let the students pick some of the repertoire. I usually ask them to send me a link to the music so I can review it. If it’s not suited to our group, I tell them why. Via NAfME

  1. Arguing over little things

mozartAfter all, what type of tread is on the bottom of the marching shoe has won and lost championships, right?

After 16 years of teaching, I quit being so strict about footwear at concerts. Do I want the kids to look nice? You bet. Does a percussionist wearing black sneakers instead of black dress shoes affect anyone’s enjoyment of the music? Not really. Via NAfME

  1. Ignoring the little stuff

Like any normal teacher, you’re going to have a lot on your plate – usually too much, and it’s easy to forget the little stuff like updating grades.

The little things add up to big things. I am not perfect in this, so I write EVERYTHING down. I don’t want to forget the small details. Via NAfME

  1. Failing to show appreciation

unpreparedThe students have the privilege of being in my class.

The students have the option not to be in your class. It’s your privilege to get to teach the best and brightest in the school. Via NAfME

  1. Never apologizing

Rule #1: The director is always right.

Rule #2: When the director is wrong, refer to rule #1.

Saying “sorry” when called for is one of the best things you can do. I’ve lost my temper at a kid. I’ve said something that humiliated them or done something I shouldn’t have. I ALWAYS apologize. It makes an impact on the students. Via NAfME

  1. Slacking on facility care

The music is the most important thing, but poorly cared for instruments and music rooms will ultimately affect the music negatively.

why-you-do-thisPut away piles of stuff. Organize. Throw away. Make the facility look the best you can with what you have. Via NAfME

  1. “I don’t care”

Some teachers view their band students as puzzle pieces rather than viewing them as individual human beings.

Show concern. Call when a student is away for extended illness. When they return, tell them how much you missed them.

A student doesn’t care how much you KNOW until they know how much you CARE. Via NAfME

Featured Image: Image Credit

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