Black Belt Educator

May 8, 2018
By saintjohn SILVER, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
saintjohn SILVER, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“BRIEFCASE BASS DRUM,” Mr. P yells the moment I step into the band room. He’s so excited about this simple, yet unorthodox instrument he’s using, but I’m not surprised. Mr. P is always excited when in comes to music, eager to share his thoughts and findings with his students.
Mr. Jacob Polancich is the only teacher I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know all four of my years at Arrowhead. Even before high school started, I met Mr. P in Marching Band. He understood that as freshmen, we were nervous and scared of coming to high school. He helped break down those walls by cracking jokes about marching forever, messing up, and throwing microphones. It didn’t stop there, though. Everyday, he makes each student feel welcomed into his class. “Good morning,” he says. “ Welcome back. I hope you are all having a good day.”
After that first day, I’ve learned more about Mr. P than I thought I ever would. He’s a teacher, a father, and a martial artist. He’s proud of the bruises he has from where he was kicked him in the side. He’s always eager to see his daughters and share stories about them. More important, though, than any of these stories, is the way that he inspires me.
Of course, it’d be easy to say Mr. P pushed me to be a better musician. I’ve improved my practice habits and I see music in a different way now. And, he inspires me to continue to improve as a student and a person. He’s so dedicated and enthusiastic about his work, it simply rubs off on those around him.
Mr. P brings in professional musicians and composers to play for and work with us. He’s also spent a considerable amount of his own time planning and supervising trips for the band to places like New York and Ireland. He’s so passionate about his job that he even plays in his own band, The Montauk Project, outside of school.
Sure, Mr. P is a teacher, but that’s not only because he teaches music. It’s because he shows his students that it’s possible to stay positive, and work towards anything despite the number of times we are kicked in the side. Just like with martial arts, Mr. P knows it’s important to go with the flow and work with what’s in front of you. Whether that’s a hundred nervous freshmen, or a band stuck in New York, Mr. P has shown he’s light on his feet and can fight for us. He might only be a green belt fighter, but he’s definitely a black belt educator.

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