A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We interrupt the Chicken Wrangler news for a report from my other persona – the music teacher.

I began a new position in August after the private school where I’d taught for 10 years closed due to lack of enrollment.  My new school is much larger – which is a good thing for job security but it has presented its own challenges.

I spent the first six weeks memorizing 180 names and learning a new grade book program.  Then there were the important things like where to get coffee and eat lunch.

The former music teacher had a very different style and the students were not all on board with the change. To say the first semester was interesting is an understatement.

One of the most challenging groups is the middle schoolers.  Just their age gives them a whole set of difficulties and I met regularly with the principal to try to figure out what to do with them.

I settled on History of Rock and Roll curriculum that has proved to be somewhat interesting to them.  In one lesson, however, a student took offense at the language.  The word “negro” was used and she felt the term “African American” was more appropriate.

I encouraged her to write her feelings in a letter to the company, and I would pass the information along.  I have done business with this company, Fun Music Company, many times in the past and have found them to be very responsive.  She worked with a few of her friends and wrote a very well worded letter.  Then she copied it over so it was neater.

I contacted the company who was very interested in reading the letter.  I scanned the document and sent it.  Within 48 hours I had a response from the company.  They were very glad to have the input and in fact changed the wording.  The creative director wrote a personal letter to my student.

“Thank you so much for writing – it has made a massive difference for many students around the world, as no longer will any student be offended by this word in one of our worksheets.”

This is by far the most encouraging thing to happen in my class in a long time.  Amaria, the student, handled the situation in a mature and appropriate manner and was able to make a permanent difference.  I look at that group in a whole new light.  There is hope after all.

In an age where overreacting and posting negativity is the norm, Amaria has taken the high road.

Well done, young lady, well done.