Music education always & always looking forward.

End of the Year Blues

For me, it's the last week of school.  Huzzah!  It's not quite there for many folks, but I promise you, the horizon is coming up.  You should be able to see it from where you're standing.  You've almost made it, and you're going to make it.

Additionally, no matter how amazingly or how poorly your year went, I will bet money that many of us music teachers (and many teachers in general) feel a little sad.  And it's not because you will miss your students, because you obviously will.  It's not that change is not hard, because it is.  It's not that you're crazy for worrying about the new slew of regulations and tests and requirements that the next year will bring.  You're not.  Teaching is scary business, and it's not for the weak.

And we're getting to the point where it at least slacks off for a bit.  Many teachers have summer gigs, some have splendid financial planners working for them and can afford to travel and take time off, some are going to school (that's how I earned my master's degree, and I cannot say enough about my summer program and the experiences I had as a part of it), but the whole standing in front of kids every day winds down.  

Thank goodness, because although I love my students, everyone in my room is sick of each other.  Don't take that the wrong way!  They are ridiculously sick of me, even more so!!  Their behavior is tanking, their expectations are through the roof, and they are not very receptive to learning, at least for the moment.  I'll miss them in a few weeks, a lot actually, but this particular week we are all spending just looking at each other, thinking, "You don't want to be here, I don't want to be here, so let's keep it cool, okay?"  I am so tired.

All of us are.  That's where we've landed.  And for a lot of teachers, there's some amount of depression that comes with that.  For music teachers particularly, that knowledge that you fell short of the goals you had for your group or for yourself hits incredibly hard.  

Even if you had an amazing year, there's a very good chance that you feel that other things in your life had to slide a little because of all of the time you've had to put in to have such an amazing year.  

So these might not be the uplifting words you need to hear, but if you're feeling down in the dumps that the year is over, you're not alone.  You've undoubtedly worked hard, and just because you've worked hard doesn't mean that you feel the payoff for it right now. 

But I promise -- it will come.  Give yourself a few days, allow yourself to feel how you feel, do something to take care of yourself, eat some cake and/or pie, and know that you did something this year worthwhile.  It's hard to see in the short term game, but after several years, the kids who come back will show you how important you are, and it makes a big difference to see that. 

Good luck in getting all of your paperwork done, keeping the kids from crying mutiny, and even putting on any final performances, and know that the work your doing matters more than you realize.

[Edited for clarity 5/24/17]


Uneven Meter for an Uneven Beachside: Asymmetrical Simple Meter in Broken Social Scene's "Shoreline (7/4)"