Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do I Love My Job?

Well, first I should say that I wanted to blog sooner, but I kinda forgot how to get into my account.  Figured that out.  It was probably a blessing in disguise because after that first blog, I literally had a thought and then planned to blog about it. Things like how the toothpaste comes out onto my toothbrush annoys me.  And, how New Year's Eve parties annoy me and how now matter how fun the party I always find myself in awkward situations when at them.  Seriously.  I would have a silly little thought and go "yea...I should blog about that".

Lucky for you, I have since then decided to really think about what I blog about before putting it out there.  Which brings us to the current title of this post:  Do I Love My Job?

A student asked me this out the blue the other day and it kinda caught me off guard.  Shouldn't the answer to that question be easy to answer?  I, of course, said "Yes, I LOVE THIS PLACE".  And the proceeded to add little "Well, the one part I don't like is....blah blah blah".  It really started to make me think about it.  Sure there are things I love.  I love creating music every day.  I love watching kids blossom as performers and gain confidence. But then I started obsessing about the things I don't like dealing with as a teacher of the vocal music.  Let me give you a few.

1.  Dealing with negative parent contact- whether it be about grades or a student not getting a part in the play they wanted or not getting that feature solo.  Sometimes it's really awkward and I have to be tougher than I'd like to be.  In vocal music, everything can be so subjective.  Not everyone has the same opinion of who's the best.  Unfortunately for my students, the $60,000 I paid to get trained in vocal music makes my opinion the winning one.  It stinks sometimes.  I don't like people getting mad at my educated opinion.  And I certainly don't like making someone feel like they weren't good enough.

2. Dealing with the paper work and administrative tasks that go along with teaching music.  If I could just focus on music and choreography for the rest of my career, I'd be the happiest person ever.

3. Dealing with students who want to be great at singing, but don't want to work at it.  It takes A LOT of work and practice.  Don't get me wrong, there are people with awesome natural talent, but if you ever want to really good, you have to work.  Laziness in that area slowly kills me every day.  There is always room for improvement- especially when singing.  Lots of my kids are slowly getting this idea, which is proof as to how great the show choir is getting.  However, not everyone is.  You're only as good as your weakest link- even in singing.

4.  Having a limited budget.  I'd love to have a program with thousands upon thousands of dollars so I never have to worry about how the show choir will get new outfits or what cuts to the show we'll  have to make in order to produce the musical.  Don't me wrong; I am sitting pretty nice where I am, but it's always about budgeting and I'd love to not even give it a thought.  This will never happen with virtually anywhere I would want to teach.  Just wishful thinking.

5.  Having a schedule that is sometimes so crazy busy I do things like forget to check to see if I have the hose I need for a performance.  Do I?  No.  So what do I do?  Grab a pair of show choir tights I ordered as extras because "Sure they'll fit."  Did they?  No.  Did the fat in my legs literally rip them apart?  Absolutely. Yes, my schedule is crazy and that's what happens because of it.

Okay, so everything seems pretty negative so far and just when I think "Man, maybe I don't love my job", I hear this from a 6th grader:  "Ms. O, you're my favorite teacher."  Sure any student could say this and as this one did, everyone in the class responded with "yea mine too."  My reply was something like "Sure, I'm your favorite because we don't have homework and sometimes we watch musicals...yea yea yea...of course I am."  They all laughed.  And then one of the came up to me privately and said "You're my favorite because you're really funny and you make music fun.  And when we sing stuff really good, you get really excited and it makes me feel good cuz I know I'm doing something right."

Okay.  I love my job.