Band director Andria Mullan made her return from maternity leave, having been gone since Sept. 3.
“It feels like I never left, we picked up right where we left off,” Mullan said.
Although it may have felt that way to Mullan, the band students noticed a drastic change from where they left off at the end of the first semester, junior Casey Kama said.
“The substitute had difficulty motivating the students and getting them to take the classes seriously,” Kama said.
This may have been due to the fact that band classes tend to get focused during warm-ups, and the substitute did not conduct any warm-ups, Kama said.
“Working with the substitute wasn’t like the teacher was guiding you, rather it was more of like we were on a journey together,” junior David Yu said.
“My baby came two weeks earlier than expected, so I was not able to have the planned week to prepare with the substitute,” Mullan said.
Even though Mullan was at home with her newborn child, she remained active in her band classes through constant contact with music department manager Jan D’Annunzio.
“D’Annunzio was the go-between with me and the substitute,” Mullan said.
Even with her involvement outside the classroom, Mullan said she remained eager to get back in contact with her students.
“I really missed my students, as I get to work with them for many years,” Mullan said.
Mullan’s experience with her students affords her the knowledge of each student’s capabilities, which the substitute unfortunately did not possess, Yu said.
“Ms. Mullan taught us since middle school, so she knows where the class is at,” Yu said.
Being unable to maintain the class dynamic led to some issues with the classes organization, Mullan said.
“I knew things weren’t running as smoothly as they are when I am there. Staying organized allows you to get the most done during the class period,” Mullan said.
The lack of organization led to some lingering effects, Mullan said.
“The band picked up some bad habits that we definitely had to work on,” Mullan said.