Help prevent Music Educator Burn-out
Self-doubt is part of being a music educator.
It is easy to question everything you do and teach. You can never do enough. You are not doing the same as the directors around you. You will never be as good as that school or teacher you look up to. Having doubt and questioning what you do can be a very effective tool for being a better teacher and help you improve or it can also be crippling and make you want to find a new career.
Find a safety-net of trusted friends and educators.
It is easy to doubt yourself but it is important to find a group of other teachers, friends, or musicians to share your fears with, lean on them to help you emotionally. They may have advice for dealing with students or parents. Maybe you need ideas for dealing with administration. Having a live friend to lean on can make all the difference in the world. The place I found the most advice at was at educator conferences, honor bands, honor choirs and all state band rehearsals.
Find a solution, not a place to whine.
Online forums are a great place to whine but a friend, peer, or mentor can be a better way to solve a problem. When I was a young teacher I was told to not spend all my time in the faculty room whining. That being said online forums did not exist yet and they were never as bad as BDG can get. If you want to be attacked like a shark or have all your ideas shot down online is a great place. Someone is always going to tell you you are wrong. You could also get the opposite, other people who are bitter and just want to blame all your problems on everyone else. They don't try to understand the whole situation and realize the problem could be what you are doing. The key is finding someone you trust to talk through things, someone who is willing to listen and give you the advice you really need. I have had several people I have talked to that helped me not make stupid decisions with my groups.
Turn debilitating problems into strengths.
We all have weaknesses, there are things we doubt. We need help musically, with discipline, with motivation and someone else will always be better at something than you. Ask for advice, ask for help, listen and find a solution that works for you. If you can resolve a lot of your self-doubt, problems with your administration or students you can solve the reason most of us have burn out. Most of us have very few problems teaching music. The things we hate about teaching music has nothing to do with music. Ask others. Find solutions that work. Don't become an example become a model to follow. Be the teacher everyone else looks up to. If you are supporting others they support you and together you can make music education better.
Experienced band teacher, author, clinician and musician. Brian has a Masters in conducting from Sam Houston Sate University through the American Band College. He was quarter Finalist for Grammy "Educator of the Year" 2018