From Burnout Into Ignited Passion: A Short Story About How Blogging, Information Overload, and Working Out Have Made Me A MUCH Better Teacher

May 28, 2013 Joel Wagner 1
This article has been viewed 8,105 times.

I don’t care if it’s your teaching job or your personal habits or your social life or what it is, we all face burnout at one time or another. Or another or another or another. At times, I can feel like we are in a dark tunnel with no escape and we don’t have the energy to escape. Ummm, not that I have ever experienced that, of course.

ANYWAY, you may or may not be struggling with this now. I would guess at this point in the school year, none of us in the United States are wanting to ever teach another school year. It happens. So I present to you an autobiographical short story that addresses this concept.

Once ...

Why Experience Is The Best Teacher

September 5, 2012 Joel Wagner 0
This article has been viewed 10,112 times.

“You’ll understand when you’re older.”

We tell that to our students, and they don’t like. We hear it when we start out in the teaching world and we don’t like. I remember an experienced band director told me once that he would tell me how to be a better teacher if he knew. He just knew that experience would help me get better. That frustrated me to no end.

I’m a step-by-step guy (if you haven’t noticed by reading other articles on this blog). “Just figure it out” is annoying to me. The way I like to figure things out is to look up the answers and work from there. “Experience is the best teacher” didn’t quite do that for ...

What To Do When You Hate Teaching

September 3, 2012 Joel Wagner 1
This article has been viewed 28,836 times.

Disillusionment is common to most of us involved in the teaching profession. We all deal with it at one point or another. Here’s the general path many of us take:

  • You major in education because you want to change the world
  • You realize that in order to teach, you need a find a job
  • You go through disappointing interview after disappointing interview and are told if you had more experience, you would be perfect for the job
  • You get frustrated that the only way to get experience is to get the job they won’t give you because you don’t have experience
  • Some school district that was not your first choice offers you a chance…finally
  • You take the job because it

Should I Keep My EduBlog Anonymous?

April 10, 2011 Joel Wagner 1
This article has been viewed 2,181 times.

A reader writes:

I’m currently student teaching. I’m very passionate about music and music education. A couple of years ago I felt a sudden terror when I recognized I was nowhere close to ready to be a successful teacher, and I started delving into as much material as I could and doing whatever else I could (camps, etc) to get ready. Your blog was one of the first good, free resources I found, and I’ve been reading ever since. So first, thank you for your contributions.

This past summer I had a friend start a music blog, and I thought, “Wow, that’s a great idea.” I love to write, especially in reflection and with the goal of learning from my ...

10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Job

January 8, 2011 Joel Wagner 2
This article has been viewed 3,699 times.

I have been asked to participate in the Reform Symposium and will be hosting a session this afternoon called 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Job. Feel free to join at 4:30EST today. I don’t normally do these online training things, so hopefully this works. Go to the link here.

A lot of these things are topics I’ve covered before, but here is what looks to be the outline for now.

Professional Sanity
  1. Get a handle on classroom management early
    1. Practice selective ignorance
    2. Don’t argue with students
    3. The phone is your friend
  2. Learn from the experience of other teachers
    1. Ask questions
    2. When someone offers you advice, try to implement the suggestions; if they don’t work, figure
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