Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

A whopping triple student cancellation for this evening has found me home a delightful 2 hours earlier than the norm (plus an hour of errand running), AND enjoying an actual sit-down dinner! What an unexpected blessing in the middle of my teaching week.

I wouldn't always have seen it that way. In the past, I probably would have viewed this evening's unusual circumstances as yet another indicator of the lack of commitment all too often exhibited by my students and their parents. I would have been frustrated about the wasted planning time and the unexpected interruption in my scheduled week. But over time I've learned that what I see from my students is usually only about 10% of the larger story and that leaping to conclusions and judging based on my limited perception is unfair to them.

I'm also coming to learn that the way I view life is based only about 10% on what happens to me and about 90% on how I react to what happens to me. When 'life' happens, I can either decide to see the glass as half-empty or choose to see it as half-full. For example, this afternoon rather than grumbling about my students and their lack of responsibility, I chose to see the afternoon as an unexpected gift- a chance for some down time and some much needed recharging. That choice turned what could have been another frustrating experience into a delightful afternoon breather in the midst of a busy week.

All you other teachers out there- I'm curious. How do you handle those unexpected circumstances in your own studio? Have you found that changing your reaction really does make a positive difference in the circumstances?


  1. These are truly blessed moments! And yes, over time, I have found that it really is all about attitude.

    We have no control over so many things in our students' lives. I get paid whether they show up or not, so I usually choose to use the time to stay in my studio (I teach at home) and play through new music or some other such "professional" work. If I leave the studio, I end up doing housework!

  2. Thanks for your comment LaDona. I know exactly what you mean about housework- if I'd been home that afternoon my 'free time' would have turned into loads of laundry, cleaning, or the like ;)