Yeah, Part-time! What a bargain I am, right?

I recently had an interesting day when, in two different settings, and without prompting, parents expressed surprise that I am not full time. One was in an email. The other was a pair of parents who asked why I wouldn’t be there for their child during concert band.

Yeah, part time. That’s me. Quite a bargain for the corporation….. I am living proof that your tax dollars are being looked after. Part-time is not my desire, but it is my reality…..for now.

THE FACTS. I am technically 1/3 of a teacher. I am degreed, certified and licensed to teach vocal and instrumental music in grades K-12, but am only “on the clock” at HNHS only during 6th and 7th periods. I get a stipend for “band”, which is interpreted to cover everything outside of school hours. I pay the teacher percentage for 1/3 of my insurance and then 100% of the other 2/3rds. What a deal! I am NOT at school for the 4th period Fall Concert Band or the 5th period Jazz Band Class. I generally arrive about 1pm for my approx 16 minute 1/3 plan period prior to 6th period. I spend the rest of my part-timeness at Priority Fundraising, QDP Corporation and as adjunct music faculty at Huntington University.

Why part-time? That was the question from these two parents. Here’s the snapshot version. In 2005, the assistant director resigned to take a college position and the corporation decided not to replace him, but there was the issue of the 100 or so students in the marching band class….. so I was hired for two periods per day. I wish I had recorded the conversation about how much of a plan period I should get and what fraction of a teacher I would be. I become complicated when they schedule early morning faculty meetings or 4-full-day “mandatory” HET (Highly Effective Teacher) training.

Anyway, I said yes….. and since my fundraising business office was only 6 miles away, I took it on kinda as a hobby, but pretty early on, I FELL IN LOVE WITH THESE TEENS. So if I’m not ALWAYS here when you think I should be…..maybe I’m not supposed to be.

I’m not complaining, just informing. The school corporation has done exactly what it promised in regard to the part-timeness setup. I like it here and I love this job.

I sincerely appreciate the incredible support from the band and their parents. I think it is because these teens know that I love, “admire and respect” them that they allow me into their lives where my intent is to mentor and encourage achievers. I think they get it…..and I like that.

…and now you know more of my story.

John Gardner


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