Let’s just say I have been a little off my game lately. Alright fine, I have been really off my game lately. I’m going to be real and honest with you: I have wanted to be a teacher as long as I can remember. However in the past three to four weeks, I have said the phrase, “I don’t know if I can do this job anymore,” more times than I would like to admit. What might surprise you is it is not the kids themselves that make me feel this way; if I could just teach kids how to sing as choir, I would be happy. What has made me feel this way? The extra. The things we as educators are now expected to do: the activity fund I am to manage and countless other things that come along with this job. I found myself overwhelmed, emotional, and downright insane. Pair this with a building under construction and some of the most ridiculous All State Choir audition pieces ever, you got yourself a super tired Meghan that is crying into her donuts and wine. (Side Note: donuts and wine are a delicious combo, and you should try it.)
People say they love me because of my unicorn and rainbow goodness and how I view life from that lens. There have been no unicorns; there were no rainbows. I would be naive to think I am the only one feeling this way. I think everyone right now is struggling with something. This election cycle has worn everyone out. We are fighting not only for ourselves but for our students so they can get the best. We are doing more with less. The reality is that if I could just teach my kids and not have the extra I would be a million times more unicorny than humanly possible. Forms, paperwork, auditions, meetings, blah, blah, blah….I can’t do it anymore.
But….there is something bigger at stake. Music is too important. Quality music education is too important for me to stop. I have this Zolton Kodaly quote framed on my desk, “It is our firm conviction that mankind will live happier when it has learned to live with music more worthily. Whoever works to promise this end, in one way or another has not lived in vain.” Let those words sink in; I have to read them and remind myself daily of this promise. There is too much at stake for me to stop. Music education in many ways is under attack and under valued. I am the only middle school choir teacher these kids are going to have in this very moment. I have to make sure choral music is valued by them, their families, and this community. This calling of mine is bigger and way more important than I ever imagined. Mankind will be happier when it has learned to live with music, and what I do will not be in vain. It might feel right now like I can’t do this. That I can’t handle what is in front of me--but it is so important. I can’t let my unicorns run away and my rainbows to fade.
So instead of the crazy, I’m going to focus on the good. A happy Men’s Choir that loves to sing, a Sixth Grade Girls’ choir that just wants to learn more, a Show Choir that wants to be challenged everyday, and the cutest dog a girl could ask for. I will not live in vain and will work to make mankind happier by letting it learn to live with music.