Confession: A couple weeks ago, I didn't feel like teaching piano.
This particular morning started off great! There time to pray, read the Bible, jump on the treadmill, and have breakfast.
But while making the bed, I somehow turned wrong and pulled a muscle in my back. It hurt SO bad! Within moments my excitement to teach piano was gone. Physically, I knew I’d still be able to teach, but my joy had gone right out the window!
Clearly, I needed a reset.
It happens to all of us at some point. Maybe there’s a physical reason we don’t feel like teaching. Perhaps we’re just not in the mood.
Either way, the show must go on! Here are 10 quick ways to reset when you don’t feel like teaching. I hope these ideas help you the next time you're having a tough day!
1. Be kind to yourself.
Instead of wallowing in your frustration, do something that puts a smile on your face! Light a candle, put on some music, and allow yourself to let go of the guilt.
Beating yourself up for the way you feel will only make you feel worse. There are better ways to get through the day and it all starts with being kind to yourself.
2. Figure out the problem.
If you can figure out WHY you don’t feel like teaching, then you’ll be able to adjust your attitude fast! Here are some questions to ask yourself:
◆ Are you tired?
◆ Stressed about dinner?
◆ Unprepared for lessons that day?
◆ Do you have a headache?
◆ Did you get into an argument with your child?
Take the time to figure out what’s really bothering you!
3. Find a solution.
Now that you know the problem, figure out a solution.
4. Don't compare yourself to others.
This is not the time to hop on FB or Instagram and look at the highlights of everyone else’s life. We ALL have days when we don’t feel like teaching. Just focus on your situation and determine to reset!
(Remember, I may have created Upbeat Piano Teachers, but I don’t always feel upbeat. No one does!)
5. Do something completely different at your lessons.
Instead of teaching your typical lesson that day, do something FUN and out-of-the box. Your students will love the surprise and that alone will make you feel better!
Maybe you could have a Game Day or Duet Day? What about spending the entire lesson working on composition?
Here’s the key - Plan something that YOU think is fun to do. If you’re having a good time, your students will too! (This book is wonderful if you need some creative ideas.)
6. Create a reward.
Everyone needs a little motivation! Give yourself something to look forward to once teaching is over.
Maybe a hot bath or some reading time with a tasty latte. Text a friend and see if she can meet for dinner and/or dessert once your teaching day is done.
7. Remember your why.
In our Upbeat Planning Academy, Sara and I talk a lot about the importance of knowing your WHY. This is a critical element to keeping your attitude in check!
Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re suffering from Piano Teacher Burnout and you crave a vacation, BUT you need the money. Instead of being frustrated, celebrate the fact that you’re supporting yourself and your family. “Needing money” is a wonderful “why” and it's nothing to be embarrassed about!
(This book is one of my favorites and really helped me clarify my “why.”)
8. Get a new perspective.
It’s easy to get into a rut when we teach 20, 30 or more students every week, but look at it from a new point of view by stepping into the shoes of your students.
Each student only has ONE lesson each week and they deserve your best! They need you to be upbeat, energetic, helpful, and focused. Thinking about this always helps me to get my attitude in check.
Another great idea is to ask yourself this question often: How do you want to be remembered? No one wants to be remembered as a grumpy, nagging piano teacher!
Do some serious thinking and BE the person you want to be. Create moments that will bring wonderful memories!
9. Consider canceling some or ALL (yikes!) of your lessons.
Some teachers may disagree, but I think it’s okay to cancel lessons on occasion.
Yes - this is extreme and I don’t recommend it when you’re simply tired, but the truth is that some days we’re not up for teaching - and that’s okay.
Maybe your dog died? Perhaps your mother was diagnosed with cancer? It could be that your child got bullied at school and the whole situation has you completely stressed out.
While you don’t want to cancel lessons often, there are times when canceling might be the best thing. By giving yourself the necessary time to refocus and regroup, you’ll likely feel up to teaching again much sooner.
10. Pray and/or read the Bible.
As many of you know, my faith is a big part of my life. When I’m having a tough day, reaching out to God always helps.
Right now I’m reading through The Daily Walk Bible. I love it because the reading plan is so practical.
Each day features an overview to help you understand the reading. Then every 7 days, you read a short summary to help you see the big picture, plus that allows time to “catch up” if you’ve fallen behind on reading.
If you struggle finding time to get into God’s word, the pretty yellow Write the Word journal (pictured above) has helped me.
Each day there’s a key verse to write out, along with space to journal, take notes, write a prayer - whatever!
These make great Christmas gifts too!
BONUS TIP: SIMPLIFY LIFE
One of the things that I've done to simplify life is start online grocery shopping at Walmart. There's no charge for this service as long as you're purchasing at least $30 worth of groceries.
It's amazing! I reserve the time I want to pick up my groceries, pull up, and they load them in the car. I'm saving time. I'm saving money. It's a HUGE win for me!
If you've never tried it, you can click here to get $10 off your first online purchase.
One quick tip or maybe it's a confession. I'm that freaky shopper who's really picky about bread. I'll reach all the way to the back to make sure I'm getting the freshest. For that reason, I don't buy my bread when I do online grocery shopping. I usually make another short trip to the grocery store during the week for bread and fruit. I prefer to choose those myself. :)
Do you need practical help setting your day up for success?
The Make Over Your Morning Course made a huge difference in my life a couple summers ago. Shortly after I finished that course, I was so motivated and encouraged that I created Upbeat Piano Teachers!
What is Make Over Your Mornings? It’s a 14-day online course that includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects designed to help you maximize your mornings. You’ll experience more success in your business, more order in your home, and more joy in your life.
If you’re ready to put some excitement and fulfillment back into your life, check out Make Over Your Mornings. (You can try the first day for free!)
Find out more about it here.
Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Hi there! I'm Tracy Selle. A Christian wife, mom, and author of 101 Piano Practice Tips. I'm also a piano teacher and founder of Upbeat Piano Teachers.