Both are hard for me. I think one of the things I will always struggle with is knowing for sure if I'm "doing a good job." I think about this often in everything I do - being a good friend, being a good Christian (I know that sounds wrong - I don't mean it in a weird way...hopefully it makes sense without having to explain), being good at my school work (all my life even up to now in my graduate studies), and so many more, but most frequently...being good at my job. I don't know if I'm managing my classroom the right way. I don't know if I'm planning the right lessons. I don't know if I am doing my best to help all learners, because I do know a lot of them are "bored" and dread coming to music class. I don't know if I'm good at talking to other teachers...I often think they feel like I'm weird, awkward, or stuck up for not talking to them a lot, when really, I'm just very shy (I know, I know...and I just posted about this...and I'm trying to work on it...*sigh*) I'm a mentor this year, and I don't know if I'm doing a good job helping someone else. So....I have to stop and think about it like this. Am I doing my best? I guess so. I mean, most of the time. I know no one is perfect, but I just want to feel confident that what I am doing is ok.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for God and not man." -Colossians 3:23
I guess I found my answer to that one. But that doesn't mean it's easy to believe.
So - another connection to this question is the opinion that I don't take my job as seriously as others. When I say that, though, I don't mean it to say that I don't do my work, or I push it off to the side. I mean it like, a lot of music teachers work and work and work to have the best performances, the best lessons, the most knowledge their kids can have. And I think to some extent I do. But...I go over and over in my head every day about how much I care for my kids. I care about their smiles. I care about their day. I care about their favorites. I care about what they enjoy in music. I care about their hurts. I care about their hearts. I could go on and on and on...I love talking to my kids every day. And I think I have one of the best jobs in the world - getting to spend all day with children, every day of the work week. I do want them to have the best performances they can, and I do want to plan the best lessons I can, and I do think a lot about how to teach things in a "different" way so they aren't just listening to me talk all day...but at the end of the day, I guess I care more about them as people than I do about "perfection." I hope that made sense.
"Kids have to know how much you care, before they care how much you know..." Quote our principal shared last year, and I have really hung onto ever since.
Today was my Kindergarten program, and I couldn't have felt more pride in my kiddos! They are fun, caring, potential-filled, little learners with minds that are ready to grow and learn...and I love them so much! They brighten my day!
So, how does someone know they're doing a good job? I hope I am...