Our school board is deciding whether to terminate the music and gym teachers beginning in the next school year in order to balance our budget. The impact of this decision is tremendous. I teach at Powhatan Elementary and our music teacher is one of the best things we have going for us. Jennifer Bohach has taught music in our district for 27 years. She has changed the lives of so many students because of her love of music and of teaching. Anyone who knows anything about how the brain works, knows the impact that music has on the developing cognitive skills of young children.
Jennifer is the kind of teacher who has instilled a sense of worth to students who probably have never experienced this before. This year our whole school will be videotaped to be in the World’s Largest Concert. What an honor she has brought to us!
Several years ago I was put in a situation where I found myself teaching music and I am not a music teacher.
I went to Jennifer for help. She gave me something that I will treasure for the rest of my life – the gift of keeping the beat. I was always one of those people who couldn’t even clap in time at a concert. Jen taught me how to do this. Every single time I’m in a situation where I have to clap in time, I think of Jennifer and feel so lucky to have had her teach me this. I had given up on ever being musically inclined enough to keep a beat but through her methods she taught me this much sought after skill.
I know school districts have had to cut cost due to the cutting of funds from the state. I know the difference between the state and federal governments but still find it hard to stomach the loss of our fine arts programs even though the federal government has spent billions in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I know the politics of these 2 countries well enough to know that our being there won’t have made a difference at all in either of them, especially Afghanistan. This place is a mess and always will be. We have lost lives and money for absolutely no reason at all. It saddens me greatly that so many people in power never learned a thing from Vietnam. Shame on us and shame on America that we were willing to give up even one of our young kids for nothing.
In any case I want to thank Jennifer Bohach for all that she’s done for our school. Let’s hope our school district can do something to save our music programs. Our school just won’t be the same without her.
Third Grade Teacher