I want to take a little time this morning to take a brief survey with the help of other teachers. It's only my third week into the fall term, and I'm already beginning to experience what I call "the slump".
Several students have shown up for lessons this week with little or no practice logged. One student even had the guts to tell me he'd "forgotten about practicing".
Over and above this, the level of focus among my students was way off this week as well, and I had a hard time reining in the energy and maintaining any kind of focus.
I always find this phenomenon occurs about mid-term, after the first month or so of lessons has passed and the reality of the recital hasn't quite hit home. I've never had it hit so early. Two weeks ago we were just started off, setting our goals, and talking about what we wanted to accomplish this fall.
Over the years as I've taught, I've seen this slump slowly shifting earlier and earlier each term, and lasting longer and longer. It seems that students just don't have the enthusiasm and discipline that I expect them to have. On top of this, the parents also share their attitudes and don't make disciplined practice a priority, rather, they'll come in and make excuses for their kids and expect me to be the one to pick up the slack.
I am just curious if other teachers out there are noticing this type of trend in their respective areas? Do you find my observations to be relevant and applicable to your own studios? Have you dealt with this in the past? Do you have any ideas for how to breathe fresh inspiration even when it seems to be needed in the first month of the term?
I'm not meaning for this to be a negative post, I'm just sharing my observations and looking for feedback and (hopefully) some advice from more experienced teachers. If you wouldn't mind taking a few moments to share your own experiences by commenting, I'd love to get a good discussion going on this topic!