As this school year began, I reflected on what I don’t have time for…what my life is too short for. Shortly after I dyed my hair purple as an end of summer semester/end of wedding gift to myself, I decided to make this reflection into an official proclamation on Instagram and it resonated with a lot of fellow music teachers.
Whether you’re just starting out the year or you’re already in the thick of it, writing a proclamation on your beliefs as a music teacher can be beneficial!
Why create a proclamation?
Proclamations can be a guide to decision making throughout the year. Don’t know the answer? Think back to your proclamation.
Proclamations can serve as a reminder of your “why” for when times are tough. You will always have “those days.” Writing this proclamation can remind you of why you do what you do and it can help you sort out what may be causing you extra stress.
Proclamations can help you say yes to more of what you want to say yes to and no to everything else. If it’s in your proclamation that you care about something, say yes. If not, it’s a no.
Proclamations declare to the world what you care about as a music teacher. It’s a condensed version of your teaching philosophy.
Personally, writing out this proclamation helped me define my priorities and what I was definitely going to say no to this year. Saying no is a huge struggle for me so writing this out, helped put it into words.
If you’d like a free copy of my own proclamation “Life’s Too Short…” sign up below!
Want to create your own? Here’s how you can:
1. Start by making a list that includes the following:
non-negotiables (using your planning time for planning, actually eating your lunch time)
what drains your energy at school (toxic coworkers, staying at a job that isn’t the right fit)
the things that hold you back (imposter syndrome, the lesson you hate but never revise)
whatever makes you feel guilty but really shouldn’t (saying no to extra events, using your sick days)
the things you love most about your job & what you never want to forget about, even on the toughest days (having fun making music with students, fighting for what students deserve)
2. Come up with a title for your list. For me, I went with the theme “Life’s Too Short For…” in order to remind me to say no to things that aren’t a priority. Life is too short for anything that’s on that list!
3. Put that list & the title all together. If you’d like to make it a litte fancy, you can try putting your proclamation together in something like Canva(a free tool that helps you design just about anything!).
4. Don’t forget to print out your proclamation so you are always reminded of what matters most to you!
Here’s my music teacher proclamation:
Life’s Too Short For…
Not smiling until Christmas. Petty coworkers. Forgetting to have fun with your students. Only playing music by “old, dead white guys.” Imposter syndrome. Sacrificing your health. Keeping quiet about matters that impact student learning. Forgetting students are human too. Being a martyr. Hesitating about applying to present. Hardline policies that don’t give kids a second chance. Not taking the time to email or call people in power to create change. Spending nothing on yourself. Neglecting to take a non-working lunch. Forgetting to thank people(especially secretaries, nurses, and custodians). That lesson you hate and never revise. Keeping your school email on your phone. Never taking a break. Leaving the parking lot last every night. Big egos. Feeling bad for taking your sick days. Forgetting why you became a music teacher in the first place.