No doubt you finished the last school year completely exhausted. Now you are preparing for a new year (or already in it). You’re thinking about your curriculum, your classroom setup, classroom management procedures, and myriad other things that need your attention. On top of those usual things, you might be thinking about health and safety, masks, moving onto a cart, or remote learning. I know I’m getting exhausted again just thinking about it.

Amid the obligatory meetings, ice breakers, and training, I have the pleasure of leading a passionate team of music teachers. We have a curriculum restructuring to work on this year, and a new team member coming in. So not only for me, but to get my whole team centered on a common mission, we need to revisit why we are here. 

If you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed preparing for this school year, come back to these THREE QUESTIONS to find your grounding. #musiceducation #covidmusiced #pypmusic #musicedchat Share on X

When I feel my planning spreading in a million directions, I use this reflection to find my real purpose. It’s a great way to set yourself a tone for the year, or to ground yourself when things seem to be spiralling out of control. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I here? i.e., Why is it important for children to learn music? 
  • What is the big thing I want them to take away from my program? 
  • Why did I become a music teacher in the first place? 

The answers to these questions should help you to focus on what’s important: a deep understanding of important musical concepts and creative expression, and an appreciation for the beautiful variety of music people make. 

So when you feel the anxiety bubbling up in this crazy time, bring yourself back to your reason for being there. No matter how much content you get through, or how many standards you check off; no matter how many students show up for your Zoom session, or what your new teaching space looks like…You love what you do, and you love your students. You can share that love with them, and inspire them to be musical and creative. You can step back a bit and give them more space and agency to FALL IN LOVE with music, so do it!If you are looking for some inspiration, check out these easy activities at TeachersPayTeachers. Shop the sale on August 18 using the code “BTSBONUS20”.

The most important back-to-school reflection
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