I hope that by now (Monday morning at 6:00 a.m.) your in-box and voicemail, are OVERFLOWING with messages of thanks and appreciation for all that you do. Other than being a parent, few adults can rival the opportunity for real impact that a music teacher provides.
The overall level of commitment your students make, the emotionally charged environment of making music, and the sheer magnitude of time you spend together creates a virtual perfect storm of opportunity for character enhancement. This is something that we sometimes take for granted and other teachers crave. But this opportunity comes at a cost, personal and professional.
Listen... I know that you are tired. I know that you are frustrated by increasing demands and decreasing time. I know that you are concerned about budgets, job security, and the future of music education. I know that more than a few of you have considered making a change to your career on more than one occasion. Having said that, I wanted to tell you something.
You matter to your students.
You make a difference in their lives.
You make your school and community a more human place.
You matter to them.
You matter to me.
Music is important. Without you, there is no music, and that would be a tragedy, for you and for your students. I have always believed that your worst day on a podium is better than your best day in a cubicle.
A fun appreciation activity for you and your students!
Can I suggest an activity to put a smile on your face? At the end of class, take a few minutes and have your students write a note of appreciation to other teachers on your campus.
Trust me, you and your program will get far more out of this activity than the ten minutes of class time you put into it.
While your students are working on their notes, perhaps you could use this time to send a note to some of the music teachers who helped you as well. If not, consider dropping a note to your administrators, both building and district. After all, it's always better to build bridges than burn them.
Have a GREAT week!