07-08: What Didn’t Work Well

As we begin the summer vacation, I am looking back on what went really well this year, what didnt work so well, and what needs to change for next year. Below are some of the negatives about this year:

  • Lack of social life – While not entirely true, and things have changed for the positively since I began playing in a mariachi in April. But I still notice that I am far away from my family and many of my friends before I moved down here. Even after being in South Texas for four years, I find that my social life is limited to time spent with other band directors, and a small handful of church friends. Maybe that’s just part of growing up and being out of college. I’m just still not entirely used to it.
  • Not taking my own advice – Especially in reference to stress reduction, there were times when one or two or ten of these pieces of advice were ignored. So take heart if you have trouble doing some of the things I say I do. I slack off at times too! At the same time, I used the blog to come back and reread some stuff and it inspired me.
  • Disorganization – I write and have written quite a bit about organization. I am one of the more organized people I know. And yet at times I still can’t find the things I need. Things in my house are out of place.
  • Laziness – How many times did I write and say that I was going to do something on the blog and never did? Too many. How many emails or comments have I gotten that have either gone completely neglected or I took way too long to reply to? Too many. This is the result of disorganization, but it also comes due to lack of motivation. At times the blog drains me. Then I get an email or a comment from someone who tells me they have decided to start a blog or they have decided to not quit teaching or whatever. And I remember that there is a greater purpose for the blog!

As I look at this list, I notice that most of them are personal issues rather than teaching issues. While some of the spill over directly into my classroom, they all have an impact on my state of mind while I teach. I see progress in that I am much more accomplished in the classroom, but I still see plenty of room for growth. In the next in this series, we’ll look at some of the things I want to change next school year.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

5 Comments on 07-08: What Didn’t Work Well

  1. Social Life:
    It is hard to have one after college. In college, you have so much “free” time, sure you are supposed to be studying but still…

    Teaching takes alot of energy and any 40+ hour a week job leaves you with less time.

    I just thought “man my college friends were so awesome” but then I realized that it wasn’t that they were more awesome than my friends now, but that we had more time to hang out.

    My advice: Set aside time and have a “party.” This can mean having 4 people over for dinner. I just did that and it was a BLAST. No one wanted to leave.

    How about a post about what worked the best? Maybe you didn’t have the best follow-through on the blog but you taught some kick ass tunes and made a difference in an aspiring musicians life.

  2. @Fermi – Dude! That’s a great idea. As soon as I get my house really cleaned up, I think I’ll be doing that more.

    I already did a “What Worked Well” article, but now I have added the links at the bottom of the post to help out. You’re right, this was a very productive and positive year. Thanks for commenting, and it’s great to have you reading the blog!

  3. @Betty – You’re awesome. Thanks for your encouragement and just overall happy attitude. I love when you comment on my blog. I know I don’t comment enough on your blog. I’m sorry about that…but thank you. :)

  4. Thank you for posting this website! I know these articles took a lot of time for you to write and post, but they gave me a lot very insightful information. I am a music teaching too, so everything was very pertinent.
    I will apply much of the advice you gave as I start this year teaching full-time. I really appreciate the time and effort!

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