How Being a Teacher Causes Stress

strongly believe that every teacher goes through periods where they have an intense amount of stress. I could be having a good one or two months of bliss, and then I’ll be stressed. I think the things that make me the most stressed is the amount of prep I have to do before each lesson. Books are a huge problem for me. And when my students level up from a book, almost all of them level up at the same time; it means that i’ll have to go and get new books. What happens if you can’t remember the lesson books that your students are in? That’s what i’m stressed about right now. I just leveled up a couple of students from their books and I have a new batch of students to level up. And I can’t seem to remember their book levels. I know I’m probably overreacting, but I like to be perfect. And it’s taking all of my courage to admit this.

Another thing that causes me stress is when it is musicianship exam and competition season. It’s a huge deal to me to make sure that all of my students are prepared and ready. I think that I’m more stressed than my students are during this time. We have to pick songs from specific guidelines and we have to follow all of the rules. If you don’t abide by these rules, they disqualify you automatically. Last year, I went on a trip to Florida with my family. While I was there, I got a couple of calls from the music association saying that the songs I picked for my students don’t follow the guidelines stated. I was so stressed about this because I had spent a lot of energy preparing for this festival. And this festival required me to volunteer also. I spent hours that night coordinating with the music association and I planned new songs. It was tough because I only had a couple of weeks until the actual day of the festival to prepare my students for these new songs. When I came back, I was in a rush to prepare my students. Thankfully, nothing went horribly wrong, but i’m promising myself that I won’t mess up like that this year.

Musicianship exams take months to prepare for. And they can be difficult. Students have to complete a written exam and perform a playing test for a judge. There are tons of guidelines and other requirements that the students have to meet. I spend these months walking through every single detail of these tests with my students and I also hold extra rehearsals for these. I won’t say that I haven’t been worrying about these exams yet because they’re next year, but I feel like I haven’t been putting them as my top priority. And right now, as the date gets closer, I am feeling the stress emerging.

As I admit all of this, my stress is slowly disappearing although I haven’t done anything in the last couple of hours to complete the work I need to do. Admitting all of this is the first step. I feel more empowered now to get my work done. And I want to add more things to my lessons. There are so many things to do and now… it’s time for me to get to doing it. Thank you for listening!

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