When You Don't Want to Give Lessons
I've gotta be honest. Sometimes, I feel like I am a train wreck going in to lessons. Usually its because I spent the morning rushing around, trying to homeschool my kids, at the same time I'm trying to clean up, at the same time I'm lesson planning. And so my mood goes downhill just in time for that first student to walk through the door.
This happened to me a couple of months ago. I mean, I really, really did not want to give lessons that day. I was uber stressed and pretty much exhausted, but those students were coming through the door anyway.
I wish I could say that I pulled up my big girl pants, gave myself a pep talk, and magically turned my attitude around. I did not.
Nope, I pouted on the inside. (Impressed, aren't you?)
And the first three lessons were, admittedly a complete struggle for me. Finally, by the fourth lesson, I knew that I was not going to make it. I had eight more lessons to go after that, and it just wasn't looking good.
So, I pulled out a desperate play. You know, those audibles that quarterbacks call at the last minute in order to pull off something awesome? You're dying to know what my desperate play was, aren't you?
Drumroll please . . .
I went to the bathroom. (Even more impressed, aren't you?)
Seriously! I will admit I didn't actually need to avail myself of the facilities, but I went anyway. And in there, I took a minute to just chill my brain out for a second, look in the mirror and tell myself these words:
Eyes on the goal, Holly.
I unnecessarily flushed the toilet (I know, I know!) in order to um, seem like I was in there for a reason, washed my hands, and came back out to return to my student. I pulled out my lesson notebook, and along the top of that day's page, I wrote those exact words:
Eyes on the goal, Holly.
You see, I have three goals for my piano lessons:
1. Be the best piano teacher I can be for my students.
2. Enjoy myself because I'm using my skills.
3. Contribute financially, for my family's well being.
So, when I read those words, "Eyes on the goal, Holly", I was reminded WHY I was doing the lessons. Even though I didn't want to, my WHY kept me going.
Honestly, those words didn't change how I felt about piano lessons at that time, but those words certainly kept me going.
Be a slug who sits in my chair, half listening to my student, half daydreaming? No way! I'm going to be the best piano teacher I can be right now.
Roll my eyes (inwardly, of course) and do this lesson half way? No way! I plan on enjoying myself because I'm using my skills.
Cancel the remaining lessons or give a half baked product to my clients today? No way! I'm providing financially for my family.
My eyes on the goal kept my head in the game at that point. It kept me focused, it kept me engaged, and it kept me doing my job well.
I didn't want to give lessons that day and truthfully, I was still glad when they were over. But, in the in-between time, when I was actually giving the lessons? My eyes were on the goal and that made it all worth it.
So, WHY are you giving lessons? You might want to actually think that through and write it down somewhere.
I guarantee that there will be a lesson day when you don't want to give lessons. There may be a lesson week or a lesson month when you would rather be doing something else.
That's when you pull out your WHY and remind yourself, again and again, the reasons you are doing this.
Trust me, focus on your WHY -- you'll be glad you did.