Burn me once…..but not twice

By John Gardner

I just got a friendly email reminder….

“Thank You for renewing….”

I did NOT want the renewal and called the vendor — and was told that when I signed up for that discounted first year rate that the “terms of service” stated that my membership/subscription would be “automatically renewed” at the regular price. BUSTED!

A few types of subscriptions/memberships that often work this way…

  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Domain names
  • Computer anti-virus programs
  • Job search sites
Fire and Ice copy

My mamma used to say, “Burn me once…..shame on YOU, Burn me twice…..shame on ME!

If this has ever happened to you, consider the following 5 suggestions to keep from getting burned…

Read more ›

Posted in Business strategies, Communication, Consulting, How May I Serve YOU?, Internet web design and ecommerce, Personal experience, Sales and Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Virtual/Local Services

Social Media Management Services

Managing social media


Have you ever noticed that some people, and more often businesses, seem to have their name on your social media news feed when you are there? No, they are probably not sitting at their computer constantly posting and tweeting. Some have employees paid to manage their social media accounts.

Do you?

If not…. but you want the value of the exposure, consider using a Virtual Assistant to do it for you.

I use professional tools to manage multiple of my own accounts and several of others’. Some of the things I can do for you include:

  • CREATING accounts: Facebook Business Page, Google+ Verified Business Page, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram… or websites/blogs.
  • CREATE/MANAGE a “Content” file for your business that might include announcements that you want published periodically, i.e. “Follow us at xxxxx”, “Our online store is xxxxxx”, etc.
  • SCHEDULE items from that content file to appear at the highest traffic times throughout the day/week. If you have meetings or calendar events, I can also schedule those far in advance so you don’t forget.

Sceduling multiple messages


In addition to social media management, here are some jobs I’ve completed for clients:

  • Write blog posts: (examples)
    • How to choose a cleaning service for your home or office.
    • Bios on people who overcame obstacles; 50/50 men/women, 50/50 famous and obscure people, from USA, UK, Germany, Russia, Pakistan….
    • Promoting online store and products from an “English-as-a-second-language” client wanting to promote specialized Palestinian culture items.
    • Finding speaking gigs and events for a client who specializes in a narrow vertical market.
    • Finding manufacturers of high-priced (over $150) chess sets that he can sell on his multiple sites.
    • For one business services client:
      • Online checklist form for employees/contractors to use to ensure they do a thorough job.
      • Online job application.
      • Online feedback form for customers to use following service.
    • Create Reddit accounts and comment in multiple subreddit groups.
    • Educational research for a parent.
    • Music transcription, transposition and score modifications.

…and more

Level 1 and 100 percent rating

Posted in Business strategies, Communication, Consulting, How May I Serve YOU?, Internet web design and ecommerce, Job Search, Managed hosting, Sales and Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Virtual Assistant, Virtual/Local Services Tagged with: , , , ,

“Getting out of the rut” no longer works with teens

By John Gardner

RutsI came into a program that was stable, consistent, well-rounded — but with few exceptional accomplishments in marching band competition. I told them,

“If you keep doing the things you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting the results you’ve been getting.”

I tried to use the analogy of “getting out of the rut”. It did NOT work. I now know why.

Read more ›

Posted in Assistant Directing, Classroom Teacher, High Schools, Teaching Music Tagged with: , , , ,

7 Reasons To Hire Workers Over 50

Credit to  Ron GrimesSr Software Engineer, Web Applications, Silicon Valley Firm

My seven reasons to hire a 50+ worker:

Person Holding Hire Me Sign in Crowd1) We won’t spend half the day surfing websites that have nothing to do with our job.

2) We won’t exhibit a Pavlovian response to our cell phones every time they make a sound.

3) We don’t think text messages and emails require an immediate response; we know how to schedule a specific time slot in the day to respond to them (if they’re not an emergency).

4) We won’t be taking maternity/paternity leave for 2-3 months, leaving you wondering how you’re going to get that project done on time now.

5) We won’t have to take off early to pick up a sick child from school.

6) We don’t have to Google how to do something because we actually know how to do it, based on having done it a hundred times. We don’t pretend experience, but actually have it.

7) We’ve seen a hundred different ways to do things, and aren’t limited by the narrow mindedness of thinking everything has to fit within how our college professor told us is the “right” way to do it (e.g., we’re not as prone to being pedantic).

Works for me. I’m over 50. Check me out here.

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Posted in Guest Post, Job Search, Repost, Respect, Sales and Marketing, Small Business Tagged with: , , , ,

10 Anti-Excellence HS Peer Pressure Standards

By John Gardner

When I asked my high school Valedictorian son why he had chosen a particular top-tier university, he answered,

I’m tired of being the geek. I’m tired of ruining the curve. I’m tired of people getting mad at me because I do the extra credit anyway. I want to go somewhere I can be normal; where it is okay to be an achiever.

Pressure surrounds teens.

Parents push them to do better. Teachers need performance data in the ever-increasing “prove-you’re-teaching-and-they-are-learning” world of government schools.  The strongest pressure, however, can come from peers.

In handing out a “pre-test”, a beginning of a semester assessment to find out where students are on a subject, a teacher was explaining to the class.

“This is NOT for a grade. This is to help me find out where to start. If you already know most of what is on this pre-test, I’ll be able to give you higher-level work.”

A student in the class spoke up,

“Fail it!”

The message was clear.

“If we look like we know stuff, they will give us more. If we all fail the pre-test, we’ll get easy stuff to do. LET’S GO!”

Anybody can be mediocre

Here is some of the unwritten peer-pressure-code of many high schools:

  • Go easy on the pre-test. Save your effort for the one that counts.
  • Don’t ruin the curve.
  • If you turn it in early, you make the rest of us look bad.
  • If the instruction says 500 words, don’t do 501.
  • Just do what you have to do to get the grade your parents won’t yell about.
  • Don’t study at home, practice at home or do extra research at home because they’ll start expecting MORE.
  • The teacher will adjust the level of work to the level of the class. We vote for easy. Don’t mess it up for us.
  • Share your work with us…. we’ll change a few words and get away with it.
  • Teachers are the enemy. Don’t be a “teacher’s favorite”. The only time you should be “friendly” to a teacher is when you need something – or when you’re asking for more time, etc.
  • Snitches get stitches. C’mon! Who’s side are you ON?
  • If they give us the entire class period to take a test – take the entire time. If we get done too early, they will start on something else.
  • Tell your teachers what they want to hear, even if you have to make it up.
  • Use up the entire limit: number of times you can be tardy, number of times you can be called out before discipline, number of assignments you can miss, number of low grades that will be dropped…..and then use your puppy dog eyes and maybe even a few tears to plead for mercy, forgiveness and another chance — after the limit is hit.

Below are a few of the pics/graphics I try to use to encourage a different path…..

If you want to do

This pic is from the goal line of Lucas Oil in Indianapolis. Indiana bands have state finals here. Drum Corps International and Bands of America have national finals here. And…. many of my students call me ‘G’…


Get Things Done

If the notes are on the paper

You should seldom have to tellSlide29Slide30

Posted in College Prep, High Schools, Teaching, Teaching Music Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Using Google Docs to gather specific item donations

By John Gardner

Our marching band travels to competitions most Saturdays during September and October, and our Band Parents organize food donations. In the past that has been done by posting and asking for volunteers….or for the food committee chairperson to make lots of phone calls.

Now we use Google Docs. Here are the steps:

1. Create the document with blanks for people to claim items.

Food donation blank

2. Share the document.

Options are to enter individual email addresses, but that would be time consuming. Click the button to SHARE and then GET SHARABLE LINK. Make sure anyone with the link CAN EDIT. Other options are to ‘view’, but that won’t work for this purpose — or the ‘comment’, but that would require additional editing.

I usually post a PIC of the document (see above) and publish the link to the sharable document. I also link the pic to the google doc so that if someone clicks on the form, they will go instantly to enter date.

3. Watch the blanks turn into names…..

One parent emailed me that she had fun watching several people in the form simultaneously typing and editing.

The food chairperson can then deal with any remaining blanks.

The form posted above was completed (nearly) within 24hrs (see below)


Google doc filled in privacy


A few other ways I use Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides….. I have Microsoft programs at school, but not at home. This way, I can work on the same document and share it from anywhere.

  • Google Slides for classroom announcements.
  • Google Forms for quizes, surveys
  • Google Sheets for band roster (can share with parent officers who help keep the form up to date).

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Posted in Assistant Directing, Teaching, Teaching Music, Technology in the Classroom, Virtual Assistant Tagged with: , , , , ,

Avoid mistakes choosing a contest solo

By John Gardner

Classic musicSometimes I sit in the clarinet room during the upper level solos at Solo and Ensemble festival. There is a painful pattern of poor choices in music selection and interpretation, including the selection and performances of Sonata and Concerto pieces.

Choosing a Sonata vs Concerto for the wrong reason(s)

A brief music theory overview.

A Concerto is generally written for a Concert Hall …. for a Concert …. featuring a soloist with an orchestral accompaniment. It is normally 3 movements long; a bombastic first movement, a beautiful and contrastingly slow second movement and a flourishing climatic final movement.

Ensemble parts are usually boring, because the soloist is the feature. Only during the brief “Tutti” sections does the ensemble get to play much more than light, soft accompaniment. The Concerto is designed to “show off” the masterful soloist and it normally takes the instrument to the limits in tempo, technique and range. Mozart wrote his Clarinet Concerto for a friend considered to be a prodigy.

For a concerto performance with just a piano accompanist, as what is always the case for solo festival, the pianist is playing a simplified transcription of the orchestra score. In most cases, other than the potential of some 16th note runs in the piano part during the “tutti” sections (which can be edited or left out without drastically changing the piece), the piano parts are relatively simple, or can usually be simplified without changing the intent of the piece.

Historically, a Sonata was written as a chamber hall piece, written for a solo instrument and solo accompanist, often to be performed in a smaller setting than a large concert hall. I won’t get into the form of each of the normally 4 movements, but a sonata is more a “duet” where both instruments are of equal importance. The Sonata is usually less of a flashy piece, rather demonstrating what the two instruments can do together, often involving subjective interpretations of tempo and dynamics.

The Problems

….in picking the Concerto, the most common disappointment is when the student performs the piece at a ridiculously slow tempo. I’ve heard a Rondo (generally a 3rd movement 6/8 time performed in a 2 beats per measure pulse) played IN SIX. Or… the flashy first movement at half the intended tempo. I’m all about telling students they can be slightly under the published tempo to help with accuracy, but drastically changing the tempo also completely changes the piece, in my opinion. If you can’t play it the way it was written or intended, choose something else. Of course, the other option is to commit the practice to get it to performance grade, because the only sound worse than the super slow tempo is the sloppy technique of an ill prepared piece, evidencing a problem to be addressed in a separate post perhaps…..HOW to practice.

When it comes to the Sonata, I can almost envision the selection. The student is pointed to the band library solo/ensemble music drawer and begins looking through the solo options. Scared of the heavier use of black ink on the concerto, the student pulls out a sonata because it looks easier.

Yeah, eighths instead of sixteenths, hardly any ‘runs’. This piece is for ME.

The pianist, who often only gets 1-2 times to practice with the student, and who is probably also accompanying 10 other soloists, has had neither the time to adequately prepare the tougher piano part, nor the understanding of how the two go together……hence the painful disaster at contest as a result of poor interpretation.

Solutions / Recommendations

Pick a piece to highlight the soloist’s strength.

If your strength is technical proficiency (you can play fast, i.e. runs and arpeggios), the a 1st or 3rd movement of a concerto can be a good choice. If a beautiful tone and vibrato are what you do well, then perhaps a 2nd movement of a concerto or some other solo form; such as an ‘air’ or a sound portrait type piece, might be a better choice. If you are good at playing with a wide range of emotion AND have access and rehearsal time to a good accompanist AND time to spend with a music coach who understands the particular piece selected, THEN….a sonata can be a strong choice.

Some of the lowest scores at contest are sometimes given to a decent musician who butchered a sonata, not due to poor musicianship, but to poor interpretation and understanding.

Get some expert coaching and/or listen to professional examples of that piece performed.

If you are studying privately, you should have the expert coaching you need. Your band director can often be a good source. As a director, however, I made an error a few years ago when I interpreted an Adagio tempo for a soloist. Mine was a good metronome interpretation, but not knowing that particular piece, I didn’t realize that the traditional method of performing that solo was to interpret the Adagio at the eighth note pulse and not the quarter note. The first time I heard a judge critique, I blamed the judge. The next time, when it was a different judge saying the same thing, I concluded I was mechanically, but not musically correct.

Sometimes it is difficult to find expert coaching in a geographic area for some specific instruments. Band Directors are usually expert in at least one instrument and may be proficient on multiple, but are not expert in all. The director can help with basics of notes, rhythms, dynamics, articulations, performance pedagogy, etc. But for interpretation, in the absence of a local coach, consider additional options:

1. Internet research. You should be able to find critique or comments on a variety of solo pieces, often as part of either a contribution from a college professor expert, or from research data published in intellectual papers.

2. YouTube and other video presentations. CAUTION: Anybody can post videos and some are hideous. Better sources might include college senior music major recitals. Or look for multiple presentations of a particular piece and give extra consideration to the one with the higher number of views…..or to those that represent the pattern rather than the exception from your list of options.

3. Forums or discussion groups. Search to see if others are asking similar questions or having discussions about a particular piece. Often there will be at least one “expert” contributor.

4. Find a Skype coach. Colleges are using Skype to interview applicants. So are employers. When distance is an issue, it is an acceptable alternative. Music lessons or coaching via Skype are not common, but are becoming more acceptable and available. On Fiverr.com, I offer a $5 critique of a piece. You can’t go too wrong for $5. I suggest people try that, as an example, to see if they are satisfied enough with my critique that they want to continue coaching. Read more about coaching (music lessons) here.

Thanks for reading,

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Posted in College Prep, Consulting, High Schools, Music Department, Teaching, Teaching Music Tagged with: , , ,

What I Learned From A Korean Exchange Clarinet Student

By John Gardner

The news headlines were about the College Entrance Exam in South Korea. The Economist’s article about “The One Shot Society” and the CBS Report provide some scary examples, which help me better understand understand some of the personality traits of a clarinet exchange student I taught. Read more ›

Posted in College Prep, High Schools, Repost, Teaching, Teaching Music, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

10+ Gump-ism-style Advice Lines for Bands, Students and Parents

forrestgumpIn the spirit of Forrest Gump who put out Gump-isms like, “Life is like a box of chocolates…..You never know what you’re gonna get”, I offer the following sayings that sometime happen in band rehearsals and private studio lessons.

“Good Grades Do Pay.”

We all hear about college paying for good athletes, but they will also pay for good intellectuals. Pick up a brochure from just about any college and you’ll find a place in there where they list things like 1) Average SAT/ACT score or 2) National Merit Scholars.

If your SAT/ACT score is higher than the college’s average, then they WANT YOU because you will raise their average. To many schools, both the average SAT/ACT scores and the number of National Merit Scholars they have represent “bragging rights”. But instead of accidentally stumbling into success, strategically plan for it, and then systematically execute your plan.

The first major test is one often ignored, the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test). Sophomores and Juniors can take the PSAT, which gives colleges some early information they can use to recruit. The PSAT is also the NMSQT (National Merit Scholar Qualifying test). Colleges will pay for National Merit Scholars. They brag about how may NM Scholars they have in their community. This is a test worth practicing and preparing for. Treat your preparation as a part-time job.

How much money can you make at minimum wage?

The other test(s) worth studying and preparing for are the SAT, the ACT and the SAT II’s (specific subject tests required by some schools).

“Colleges Pay for those who Play – WELL!”

Don’t ignore the ARTS corner of the Triangle-A (Athletics, Academics, Arts). I remember a conversation I had with son #1 as we sat in the driveway of his trumpet teacher’s house and I was writing that check for an hour-long lesson:

“I am paying for your college education one week at a time.
By the time you get to college,
you need to be good enough
that colleges will pay for you.”

I did not pay for MY college education. As one of five children raised in a single parent household by a polio survivor mother, I knew there was no way my family could send me to college. I knew that the only way I would get to college was for a college to pay for me to come. I wasn’t going to qualify academically and was completely non-Athletic. But by 8th grade, I realized I could play the clarinet pretty well – and set off on a track to make that my way in to college. Some of the things I did related to that:

* When my friends were out cruising, I was practicing.
(Not much choice as I didn’t have a car.)

* When my friends were going to the movies, I was practicing.
(Not much choice as I didn’t have spending money.)

* I took clarinet lessons all through high school.

* I participated in Summer Music Camps. I spent three 4-week sessions at the Stephen Foster Music Camp at Eastern Kentucky University and two summers at the 2-week Summer Camp at Morehead State University. Colleges offer camps and clinics to recruit: to get to know prospects and to give them an opportunity to fall in love with the college. In those cases, I got to study for short times with the clarinet professors at both universities. When it came time to select a college, both of those were recruiting me because they already knew me. And, of course, having intense rehearsals and master classes all day for the summer makes one a much better musician.

* I auditioned for specialty and clinic bands. Northern Kentucky had a “Select Band” which rehearsed for 1-2 days and gave a concert. I also participated all 4 years in the Kentucky All-State Band. There was the Morehead State University Band Clinic.
* I participated in several ensembles and played a solo every year at Solo/Ensemble Festival. I received 1-II, 14-I’s and 1-I+. Both my sons surpassed that, with Son #2 achieving over 42 Gold Medal ratings in District and State in instrumental and vocal.

Son #1 did not pay for his college education. Do you notice anything similar about our paths and strategies?

Trumpet Lessons starting in 7th grade.
Honor Band
* Solo/Ensemble Festival
 – three trips to State
* Music Camp – (KY) twice
Music Camp – (IN)
Jazz Camp – (TN)
* Youth Symphony
* All-State Band
Summer Substitute with the Philharmonic Orchestra
* Everything Band
 in high school, including Marching (2yrs), Concert, Jazz, Varsity Brass (Show Choir Backup), Musicals.

In fact, there were some semesters when he would register for classes that the school would give HIM a check. That was because each year:

– $2500 each year from the Presidential Scholarship (National Merit Finalist)
– $2000 each year from the University to completely cover in-state-tuition
– $5000 from the Honors Program (ACT score, National Honor Society) to completely cover out of state tuition
– $3500 from the Music Department to completely cover housing
– $1000 from the Trumpet Studio
$14,000 … at a time when the total cost at TTU (Tennessee Tech) was about $10,500/yr.

He also received local scholarships. I recall that for one of those scholarships he called the person in charge because he missed the “postmark date” and wanted to see if he could drive it to her home (local). Her response was, “Please do, honey ….. your application will be the only one we have.” See scholarship -ism below.

Son #2 went to a Top Tier school for a state school price. That university’s current tuition is over $61,000/yr. He had the grades but not the money. An Admissions counselor made me a promise (which they kept),

“If we decide we want him,
we will get him here.”

It is sad to see high school students who are pretty good in their local band go off to top-ranked music schools to face rejection because they settled for mediocrity in high school – because they could. Some of the students I teach at the university come in as music majors never having studied privately. It is really hard to make it at the college level without specialty instruction in high school. There is only so much that can be done in the large ensemble for which there is a “free” teacher. Assuming there is some talent/ability involved, you can almost look at the concept as a “Pay Now vs Pay Later”.

You can INVEST in your training and experiences throughout high school and go for the music scholarships in college, or PAY the sticker price.

“It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose — until you lose.”

I used to have a poster in front of my band room showing a rifle girl, her head down as she was dragging her rifle behind her…..featuring that quote.

“If the notes are on the paper, it is your job to play ALL of them.”

This was my response to a student who asked,  “How much of it do we have to play?” I often tell students that it is my job as a director to help mold and blend the sound, and to correct errors…… not to teach notes. Learning the notes is the student’s job.

“If you’re going to play it, you might as well play it right.”

Why hurt the ensemble and waste valuable rehearsal time when it doesn’t take that much more effort to do it right the first time?

“The view from 1st chair is much better.”

“Private Lessons can be like paying for college — one week at a time.”

“Be prepared: Make sure your parents are getting their money’s worth.”

I have had students come to clarinet/sax lessons without their music, ….. and one, without his instrument. One college music major lesson started (and ended) like this:

Student: I don’t know how to tell you this, but I just didn’t have time to practice this week.

Me: This is your 3rd week in a row with excuses. This is your major instrument. This is your major. This is just as important as that English, Math or Psychology assignment. This affects your grade too. I heard you sight-read this music last week when it was supposed to be practiced to performance-grade. I don’t need to hear you sight-read it again. You take this time and practice. I’ll see you next week.

When I was paying for lessons, I wanted my money’s worth. And I tell my students to give their parents their money’s worth, i.e. don’t waste my time or their money.

“Santa isn’t the only one who knows whether you’ve been bad (no practice) or good.”

If you engage in systematic study, your teacher/coach will get to know you well enough to know when you’ve practiced for your lesson.  Make sure your parents are getting their money’s worth.

“You can’t sight read in your lesson and get away with it. I’m better than that.”

“Like the ice skater who misses the quad, missing notes in public can hurt.”

Mistakes are going to happen. They just are. When you watch ice skating on TV, even at the world championship or Olympic level, there are mistakes. What I often explain in private lessons is that they probably hit that jump a high percentage of times in practice. Performance rarely goes better than practice. If you aren’t doing it in practice, what do you think will happen in performance?

“Anybody can be mediocre.  Not you. Not with me. Don’t even think about it.”

Mediocre means average. Anybody can be average. When talking about the lukewarm (mediocre) church, Jesus said he would prefer that it had been hot or cold, but because it was lukewarm, he would spit it out of His mouth. The Star Wars Jedi Knight Yoda says, “Do, or do not, there is no TRY”. 

“You can practice hard now and have fun at performance, or you can have fun now…”

High school life is so much about social life and relationships. The tendency is to bring that into the rehearsal. You can take it easy now, but then be disappointed with the results — or you can work hard, pay the price and enjoy the rewards and satisfaction of demonstrated excellence.

“Do you really want me to tell you it was good — if it wasn’t?”

Students usually know if it was good or bad. There is that balance between encouragement and improvement. When that balance is achieved, improvement happens. After a tough run of a marching band show, as we were ending the rehearsal, which we usually tried to do on a ‘high note’, after another staff member gave a critique, I asked the students; “Do you want the sugar-coated version, or do you want it straight?” They wanted it straight – which enabled us to end on a ‘good note’. 


How we did it chartMuch of this is included in an e-zine called, “How We Did It” in getting our two sons through college. In their case, we spent $32,000 for $200,000 worth of education and I share the strategies we used, the experiences we had and what we learned.

You can get it through Paypal for only $4.95. I would appreciate your support and your feedback.

How We Did It
Posted in College Prep, High Schools, How May I Serve YOU?, Music Performance, Teaching Music, Types of education

Common Core Standards for Sports

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 5.02.53 PM

By John Gardner

Sports in public schools cannot continue to assign and support labels like “winners” and “losers”. We don’t tolerate that in our classrooms, so why should it be acceptable in sports? Athletics should follow the academic practice – mainstreaming players into average teams, thereby reducing the emphasis and focus on special or gifted athletes. Stop emphasizing the win. Cheerleaders and crowds should cheer improvement, not the final score. Instead of waiting for a government mandate, all public school athletic programs should implement no-athlete-left-behind common core standards. 

To meet the core competency, EVERY player will play every game, like they did in t-ball where the emphasis was on learning rather than winning. The first year, there will be no scoring expectations, but all will develop a particular skill, like run down the field, run up and down the court, run the bases… Each year they will add a skill – all players will complete a pass, hit a free throw or make contact with the ball 5 times out of 10. If they can’t, the coach will write a plan for each player not meeting the standard and then work each individual plan. No one can move on until they ALL do.

Eventually, every player will score every game. Once scoring, a player will rotate out and replaced to help meet this core competency. Failure to rotate could result in some players scoring a lot and others not at all – not the goal.

Similarly to the way academics is removing labels like “special” and “gifted”, athletics will stop assigning titles like, starter, pitcher, forward, or quarterback, as those imply higher rank. To meet the common core, every player will play every position in every game.

Size and weight classifications are mainstreamed together. Wrestlers, who should weigh 100 pounds, will compete in the common class. There will be a pre-weight test to provide starting data. The coach will divide players into under, target and over weight groups and write goals for each member of each group, using the format – “___% of the under and ___% of the over weight groups will meet the standard weight by the end of the season.” Athletic teams from all schools will compete in a classless, even (?) playing field. 

Averages and percentages become standards. In baseball, all attention will focus on raising the lower averages to the standard. It is okay to exceed the standard, but those players will be left to work at their own pace, or assigned to tutor below standard players. Baseball strikeouts, walks, home runs, basketball field goals, 2 and 3 point shots, football passes thrown, completed, intercepted, along with field goal attempts and completions, will all be standardized to make sure teams are learning the games well enough to play in the real world. Track and Cross Country will adopt standard times and coaches will focus on meeting those minimums core competencies.

Referees will consider school and team core competency levels as part of their call-making during games or events. Referees will evaluate data before the game and review the progress at halftime for the second half.

Assessing core competencies. Instead of using win/loss records or scores at events to determine success, the government will provide a 4-6 page form that principals will use to evaluate the school, and another form for the athletic director to assess each coach. Coaches must take part in professional development training to learn the forms and formulas. 

Coaches will design a pre-season test to determine what athletes know, but must get both the pre-test and the final exam pre-approved. The approval process can involve multiple adjustments as determined by the professional athletic development person within the building. Note: that person doesn’t yet exist but implementation of core standards will make it necessary to hire more non-teachers to train, administer and monitor the process.

Using a complex formula requiring training to understand, test data will classify (label) as “highly effective”, “effective”, “needs improvement” or “not effective”. The amount of improvement, provided by the test results data, are one of the factors in the coach effectiveness determination. Referees will be focusing on the overall team averages. 

The good news is that with enough enthusiastic coach and administrator commitment to spending major parts of practice times evaluating data and devising, discussing and implementing  individual athletic plans (IAP’s), there is reason for optimism that the end result will be average.



Posted in Classroom Teacher, Communication, Consulting, High Schools, How May I Serve YOU?, Social Media, Teaching, Teaching Music Tagged with: , , , , ,