I taught my last music class on Friday. My last flute student finished lessons with me this summer before she headed off to college, but Friday was my last day of teaching. For roughly the last eight years I’ve taught an instruments class for 4-6 year olds. Just your standard “dog and pony” show, where the kids got to hear all the different instruments, learned how they work, and get to play them. It’s been a fun class to coordinate (oh, did you think I actually taught all the segments? Ay yi yi…you really don’t want to hear me play a violin. In fact, the music school has officially forbidden me to touch the violins after I snapped one last year trying to tune it. Yeah, that music education degree is sooo being used). I did get to teach some of the classes (mainly woodwinds and brass/percussion), and these kids are at a fun age.
But I finally made the decision a few weeks ago that it was time to go. As much as I loved teaching, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. I didn’t look forward to the classes, coordinating the teachers was a PITA, and juggling the class and childcare was getting more and more difficult. J has pretty much given up naps, so my current plan of leaving J napping (hey, Tom works from home, don’t be calling social services!) while I taught was about over.
So now I’m a former teacher. I’ve been teaching, in one form or another, since I was twelve years old, so I’ve been teaching just short of forever. When I was twelve, I was an assistant teacher for Safety Town, a summer camp-like few days of teaching 4-6 year olds about being safe. I’ve done the band camp counselor thing, taught flute lessons starting when I was 18, and on and on. Until Friday.
With the “official” teaching over, I’m now a “volunteer” teacher. I volunteer in my sons’ classrooms, I teach them at home, I’ve pseudo-adopted A’s school’s music teacher’s classes.
Friends keep telling me it’s just a hiatus, but I suspect it’s going to be longer than that. I can’t see myself teaching flute lessons until the boys move out; lessons tend to be after school, and I need to be available to them then. Perhaps I’ll somehow get back into teaching when J is in full-time school, but that’s still a few years off. We’ll see. In the meantime, I get to be a teacher without all the hassle of being a teacher. I gotta tell ya, volunteering in the classroom is the way to go. I get to work with the kids, help them out, teach them…then get the hell outta Dodge.
Must be what a grandparent feels like.