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New Year, New Me?

As we near the end of the first month of the year, I have been reflecting on the popular phrase “New Year, New Me”, as it might apply to teaching. Though I feel like the idea behind that phrase can be refreshing and even encouraging, I asked myself, what is so wrong with the old me?  Am I really that bad? Don’t get me wrong, I believe that there is ALWAYS room to grow and improve one self, but here are some thoughts I had regarding this as it applies to teaching music.

  • Everyone has weaknesses and insecurities, and that is OK!  I feel like it is important to recognize your own weakness , acknowledge it, embrace it, and work to improve it.  This is a great opportunity to network with other teachers and share. Teachers can help each other. After all, it is in our nature!
  • Everyone also has strengths!  Absolutely embrace the strengths! Share your strengths!
  • Students will also have strengths and weaknesses. We should “groom” the strengths and work on the weaknesses. Take a holistic approach to teaching.

The point is, teachers should not feel inadequate or the need to completely change. We should embrace our strengths and weaknesses because it makes us uniquely “us”. We are each our own unique person, that has our own unique style as a teacher, performer, and person.  I expect the same from students. Students will also have their  strengths and weaknesses, yet I wouldn’t want to change them. I would only want to embrace their strengths, and help their weakness, all the while working on the whole person.  Yes, there is always room to learn more and improve, and we should embrace that and look forward to it. No, we shouldn’t be ashamed to admit where we feel weak to other teachers, because we can HELP each other.  I encourage us all to network with each other.

So “New Year, New Me” ? Sure ok, but the old me was “ok” too!



Vanessa Chisler

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