For music educators - By music educators
I have great compassion for what you are facing. You are making as many adjustments as any reasonable person could given what you are facing. Your acessment that the scheduling and mixing of students who have and have not played ought not to happen and certainly without the teacher having contact with the student outside of band.
Fortunately not all band programs are set up as yours is. Yes, more districts are slipping towards what you are facing and this is a credit to no one and serves no one well. When I say no one, I mean the student, the teacher, the parents, the school district, or the music industry.
In my last year of teaching I faced one band which was made up of students who had a few lessons, some students who had horns but had had no lessons, and some students who had no horns and no lessons. They were all programmed together for a 50 minuite band class which met five days a week. The ones who had no horns or lessons were ones that did not want to be in choir or general music but were required to take some music class. So they chose band!
I gained the trust of the kids by taking a risk. On the first day of class when they were full of energy which could easily have gotten out of hand, I said, " This is a crazy situation and you can see that." The students being more reasonable than those who were responsible for setting the situation up agreed.
I then asked the students to look inside themselves and if they really didn't want to play a horn to transfer out and not hinder those who did want to play. A few did as I remember it.
Then I said we could proceed in this fashion. There are ten different horns I'm expected to teach and the class period is 50 minutes long so I'll teach each horn for 5 minutes with all of us in the room together. All those who are not studying that horn must be absolutley quiet and I mean quiet. So I laid out what I would teach each about each horn for five minutes. I laid out all I needed for where I was at on that horn on a table. When the five minutes was up the kids would raise a hand I would immediately stop and go to the next horn. Even though some did not have horns they were made to understand that as soon as they did they would need to practice and follow what I had taught. It did work fairly well partly beause the amount of actual band time was ample and of course because I had 30 years of experience with the horns
I did lay out from those years of experience some materials which might be of help to you. Go to hofmeistermusic.net and take a gander.
I certainly hope that you stay with teaching and hope the school will make adjustments but that may not be in the cards. Remember you are at the beginning of a career and your initial experience may serve you
well later on. Your intention is honorable so let that be the measure of who you are and not what the cards dealt you.