San Jose

No Time for Music Class: San Jose Teacher Out of a Job During Distance Learning

NBC Universal, Inc.

A San Jose music teacher is out of a job this fall, saying she was told by the school district that her role was cut because there isn't enough time for her class during a distance learning school day.

Samantha Abouav said Thursday she found out two days ago she'll no longer have a job as a music teacher at Reed Elementary School in the South Bay city.

"From trauma to mental health to just being lonely, singing with their peers and making music together is so much more important than a math problem right now," Abouav said.

Abouav is a credentialed teacher who has taught music at Reed for three years, but she is a contractor with the school district and gets paid through the parent teacher association.

A company called Modern Minded connected Abouav to the school. It's an educational services company that builds music, band, theater, or even yoga programs for schools or can send them teachers for those subjects.

In a statement to NBC Bay Area, San Jose Unified said, "It is true that we aren’t able to continue that program for the beginning of the school year; … our primary focus right now is on ensuring that all students have the devices and supplies they need to be successful and preparing all of our staff, students, and families for the unique learning environment in their full suite of regular classes that this year will bring."

Meanwhile, Abouav said she spent all summer building an interactive website for her distance learning music class in the fall and also made materials for her students to take home.

"I do have a huge passion for what I do," she said. "No one goes into this profession for the money."

Now, she'll focus on helping her own three children with distance learning studies and music. She isn't very optimistic about the future of her job at school.

"When funding for music gets cut, it doesn’t recover," she said. "I’ve been a part of several music programs that have died."

Contact Us