Music Ed Mentor Podcast #57: How to Burn Out of Teaching Music

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #57: How to Burn Out of Teaching Music

Last July, as I was preparing to present to the NAfME Southwest Division Collegiate Summit, I decided to do a quick poll in one of the big music teacher groups. I asked: “What do you think is the #1 contributor to teacher burnout?” From more than 400 responses, these were the top reasons cited for teacher burn out:

  1. Lack of appreciation by community/administration
  2. Lack of work/life balance
  3. The job is “too big”
  4. Student behaviors, and
  5. All of the above. 

As October is almost here, no doubt many of us are already feeling a little burned out. For those who’d welcome help getting all of the way there, in this episode I offer some solid tips on how to make sure you won’t want to come back to teaching next year. 

Join us to learn how YOU can burn out of this career in teaching music and confidently answer “all of the above” on the next poll.  

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Key Takeaways

Spoiler alert! At the risk of ruining the suspense, I think the real key is to stop taking care of yourself.

Here are some time-tested ways to do just that:

  • Get less sleep and rest 
  • Emphasize poor nutrition in your diet; especially avoiding whole foods
  • Replace exercise and mediation with more social media ranting
  • Do more! Be sure to say YES to everything anyone ever asks you to do
  • Never take a break from music. Not in the car, while you sleep, or in the shower. Never.
  • Be certain no one appreciates you, even when evidence suggests otherwise

And most importantly:

  • Remember to take EVERYTHING, including yourself, VERY seriously

Alternatives to Burn Out

I understand that some of you may prefer to not burn out on teaching music. And that’s fine. In fact, by carefully doing the opposite of everything I suggest in this episode, you’ll be well on your way. 

Whatever you choose to accomplish in this life, I am here to support you, and I am confident you can make it happen.

Bonus Material

For those of you who don’t want to burn out, I’ve written a practical guide for overall wellness in your life. It’s titled “The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.” Simply share your email with me below and you can download it for free.

Additional Resources

Elisa Janson Jones

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

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