Monday, October 13, 2014


The Five-Year Plan | What Students Really Need To Hear

The Five-Year Plan by Bob Hopkins

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Writing crystallizes thought and thought produces action.
-Paul J. Meyer

We all have visions and goals professionally and personally. A written five-year plan helps us clarify that vision and organize our thoughts. Almost everybody has an idea of where they plan to go. A written plan serves as the road map of how to get there.

If it is not already in place, consider developing a written five-year plan for your program.

Here are some advantages:

  • We have to really evaluate where we are and do some thinking about where we want to be. Then, we must plan how to get there. In order to write clearly, we have to think clearly. Our English teachers were right.
  • We are able to share our visions and goals with administrators, parents, students and colleagues. A written plan shows that we have rhymes and reasons for what we are doing. We can justify our purchases, our music choices, our performance venue choices if they fit into the already determined criteria. Planning for every year for the next five years also shows commitment to stay and see the job through.
  • Since it is our plan, we can change it from time to time due to new developments. In the meantime, it serves to help keep us on track when we keep it available on the old computer for reference.
  • An added benefit is how we change our thought processes to find ways to make it happen. Robert Schuller called this "The Power of Possibility Thinking."

Here's an example:

Insert your Mission Statement here.

A Five-Year Plan for the XYZ School Band Program

1. What size band should be in place?

  • What percentage of available students to I have to recruit?
  • When do I recruit, spring or fall? What recruiting methods do I use?
  • What is my target retention rate?
  • What should my instrumentation be?

2. What equipment will need to be provided by my school?

  • What Instruments and Uniforms do we have?
  • What is their condition?
  • What do we need?
  • When will we need it?
  • What's my ideal facility?

3. What are my budget needs for equipment, repair, music, etc.?

  • What can I expect from the school?
  • What can I expect from the boosters?
  • What can I expect from fundraising?

4. What performance opportunities should I seek?

  • Competitive marching
  • District & State Music Festivals
  • Parades
  • Ball games
  • Trips
  • Concerts
  • Other

5. Education and Curriculum Criteria

  • Performance requirements
  • Music & Method book choices
  • Additional Staff Requirements

Palen Music Center has developed a Comprehensive Program Evaluation and Discussion List to help begin the Five-Year Planning process. It is much more extensive than the example above. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance to you with taking this step.

Bob Hopkins
Road Representative - Palen Music Center
[email protected]

Bob Hopkins has a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from Pittsburg State University and a Bachelor of Science in Education (Music) from Missouri State University. He has more than three decades of service as a road representative for Palen Music Center. Prior to his employment with PMC, he served four years as Director of Bands and Choirs at Stockton High School and four years as Director of Bands at Carl Junction High School.

What Students Really Need To Hear

This material is copyright (C) Chase Mielke and AffectiveLiving, 2014. Click here to go to the original source material.

Author Chase MielkeIt's 4 a.m. I've struggled for the last hour to go to sleep. But, I can't. Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain. Why? Because I am stressed about my students. Really stressed. I'm so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say -- the real truth I've been needing to say -- and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself. And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be honest with you -- both in what I say and how I say it?

Here's the thing: I lose sleep because of you. Every week.

Before I tell you why, you should understand the truth about school. You see, the main event of school is not academic learning. It never has been. It never will be. And, if you find someone who is passionate in claiming that it is about academics, that person is lying to himself or herself and may genuinely believe that lie. Yes, algebra, essay writing, Spanish, the judicial process -- all are important and worth knowing. But they are not the MAIN event.

The main event is... (for further reading, please click this link to go to the original source material)