Ever since I was in elementary school I always wanted to be a music teacher. Music was not only the easiest subject for me but was also my sanity -- my happy place, if you will.
Without having music in my education early on, I don't think I would have grown up to enjoy school as much. I needed this one subject to prove to myself that I can succeed and even excel at something, making going to school every day worth it.
I believe that special area teachers should be held accountable for their students' educational growth, but in order to be held to the same standards as a classroom teacher, the playing field would need to be fair and equitable. The teachers' schedules are often different, the amount and types of supplies vary, and the weight of our subjects should be held to a higher standard just as the core academics are.
If our subjects are to be assessed at the end of the year to be fair and equitable with the classroom teachers, then our subjects need to be approached with the same care and urgency as the others.
Students attend school to become well-rounded citizens, and the special area subjects are what often make students feel whole. We need to present the students with the tools necessary to succeed, but the teachers need to truly believe that they can succeed in their environment first.
If the assessments produce fear of failure in teachers, how can we expect anything different from our students?