I was told in an email this morning I must have the patience of a SAINT.
I’ve often thought that patience was one of my strong suits in teaching. However, the last two Mondays I’ve been truly challenged with my patience. I have very high expectations for myself, and high expectations for the class, but sometimes I just get frustrated at the behavior.
Yesterday one of my students dropped his violin on the ground. He had done this many times before. This time the scroll broke off.
That was first.
Then the kids acted shocked, like “how could this happen?” I grew annoyed because I have told them 1000’s of times to be careful with their instruments because THEY COULD BREAK. Here it finally happens and I guess they just didn’t believe me.
Then I got an email that annoyed me, one of those passive aggressive type emails that won’t answer your question or help you but instead blames somebody else…
I lost all of my patience. In one of my classes one of the girls said, “I think Miss Frey needs a nap”. I told them they just needed to play better, that I was annoyed because they sounded so much worse than last week. Which was at least half-true—some of them don’t bother practicing the assignments–ever.
Sometimes I think it’s okay to be mad. I spend a lot of time trying not to overreact to things as I am prone to do, and I spend a lot of time trying to keep my emotions under control. But when is it okay to actually be mad? Not at the kids, but at the adults? I always try to be nice and pleasant and smiling, because generally that works well, but there are times when that doesn’t work. And then I feel so helpless, so small, so insignificant.
In any case, I was in a bad mood all day yesterday. Until the end of the day. One of my students is leaving soon (moving) and I’ve only taught him for a few months. I was so touched when he told me he was sad to leave, that I was the best violin teacher he’d ever had, and that he would miss me. I thought he hated his lessons, and so that REALLY made me feel good.
I also know the kids from yesterday will be better for me on Wednesday since I was giving them a hard time. I certainly hope they’ve practiced a bit more, but if nothing else, not talking while I’m talking would be a huge improvement.
I don’t have the patience of a saint. I just fake it.