I taught in several schools after leaving SFA in Bryan. Each Administrator 'evaluated' my performance, yet, over the 20 years I taught, I was only 'visited' four times. I have no idea what my 'grade' was, with one exception. At Cunningham Elementary in Las Vegas, I was called in to the office for a discussion of my year. It went well and I was later sent a copy of my evaluation. I had replaced a long time music teacher there and it was to my delight that after my name at the top of the page, the former teacher's name was in the remaining paper. I was never visited by any administrator while teaching in Bryan. The Principal that provided a copy of my evaluation at Cunningham never visited my class. The four years in Las Vegas I taught at four different elementary schools and was visited only once and that was by the area superintendent. I taught two years at a Christian Academy in North Carolina and had no visits. I don't know if the head folk didn't have time or were afraid of what they might see. I would have loved at one visit each year and I always wished for the opportunity to evaluate them. Mostly my students were much more impressive than some of my bosses. I will say that my classes in Bryan were the most exciting. Even when I eased up on auditions, the quality of my groups never dropped below Excellent. I once was visited by a football coach who asked, "I have attended all your concerts and I don't seem to get the same effort from the boys on my team who are in your choir. Why?" I never thought about that, but responded, "Well, Coach, do you love those boys"? He looked at me like I had lost my mind. I didn't need any other response. I worked very hard at every job and found ways to love the unloveable. I had my favorites, all teachers do, but demanded the best from everyone. I challenge anyone to ask any of my students about our choirs and you will get the same response.
"It was a Labor of Love". Everyone of you who were blessed by a dedicated choral music teacher will know of what I speak.
Speaking of teachers, it is evident that we have many wolves clothed in sheepskin. What our public institutions have done to our young is disgusting. I do not believe there to be a more sacred goal in life than to be a "Teacher of Truth" and there is, and has always been, one source of truth, donchaknow. It's the oldest of books and it is everyones "Plan for Life", The Holy Bible. And that's what I get from My Box of Chocolates right here in my corner studio under the shadow of Kyle Field.
James G Austin '69
Trust Jesus ONLY!