Seven Steps for a Great School Year

How many times have you wanted to have “this year” be something really special? Everything is usually great at the beginning, but soon the energy and excitement begin to diminish. Staying focused throughout the year can be challenging. Here are my suggestions for a successful school year:

  1. Write down your goals. What do you want to accomplish in your first month of teaching? After the first month, you will get a good idea of what great possibilities are ahead.
  2. Live “outside” the box. Are you using the same old “go-to” materials you use every year? Try something new. You can always go back to your comfort zone. And who knows, the new material may work even better than the old material.
  3. Enjoy the journey. Many times we focus just on the finished product. In our case it’s the concert or program. How you get there can be just as much fun for you and your students, if you take time to celebrate the “little” accomplishments.
  4.   Fail forward. Take a chance on something new and embrace the failures along the way.  The successful teachers and students are the ones who are not afraid to fail.
  5.  Be the most positive person you know. There is always a positive way to evaluate or critique a situation. Use the right words to communicate your thoughts in a positive manner. Remember, what you think and what you say – you become. Stay away from negative, toxic people and situations. Always bring a positive attitude into your classroom.
  6.  Take some “me” time everyday. You may never get a whole day, a half-day or even an hour, but you can take five minutes each day to dedicate just to yourself. You won’t believe how refreshed and clear-minded you will become in a very short amount of time.
  7.  Focus on what’s important. Many times we get concerned with all the little things and lose track of the big picture. Building positive relationships and a love of music should always be on the forefront. The school year is short, so don’t let schedule interruptions, negative energy, or stressful situations get in your way.

And of course...have a great year, enjoy the journey, and build outstanding young musicians!