Making It Work: Permission Slip

Here is your permission slip

Here is your permission slip to search YouTube tonight and share a lesson in your Google Classroom that some other teacher with more energy today or a lighter workload posted because they wanted to share it with you.

Here is your permission slip to stop at the store and get a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad as a nourishing meal for you and/or your family because you don’t have the energy to cook.

Here is your permission slip to not grade those assignments tonight and ask your students to look at their work tomorrow and self-reflect because you are exhausted and need a few hours of downtime.

Here is your permission slip to post lessons and slides that are plain and do not look like they are ready for publication. Then use the time you would spend decorating on taking care of yourself.

Here is your permission slip to set an automatic email response that says: “Thank you for taking an interest in your child’s music education. I am currently behind on back grading. If your child submitted the assignment, I assure you I have received it. I will be working as hard as I am able to catch up. Please be patient with me as this is a new and different school year and we are all learning how to navigate school differently than we have before.”

Here is your permission slip to have a “just ok” lesson this week, next week you if you can, you will do better.

Here is your permission slip to use only ONE of the 10,000 tech tools available in your lesson planning this week.

Here is your permission slip to ask for help, receive help with grace, and that it is ok, to not do everything yourself.

Here is your permission slip to make videos of you (or link videos of others) just singing songs to your children, and talk about those songs as your lesson this week. It is ok if they are not making or creating all the time, the world is a lot.

Here is your permission slip to negotiate with your own children or family members for time and space to recover and rest. You will be able to be present and attentive to the needs of others when you take time for yourself.

Here is your permission slip to not clean the house this weekend and just rest.

Here is your permission slip To eat your lunch alone in your classroom with the door shut and the lights off, or in your car. Turn off your phone, be completely unavailable and just breathe.

Here is your permission slip to be a human being. Not a superhero or a machine. A human being who has good days and bad days. Who has joy, fear, excitement, worry and all the emotions in between.

These messages were weighing on my heart today. What permission slip do YOU need to write for yourself? Please add it to the comments, it may be what someone else needs “permission” to do too.

Here is my permission slip


LeslieAnne Bird

LeslieAnne Bird is a music and movement educator at University Schools in Shaker, Ohio. She teaches general music and choir to fifth through seventh grade young men and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Akron. She has previously taught in North Olmsted & Cleveland Ohio as well as in Prince George’s County, Maryland. LeslieAnne is a national presenter. She has served as vice president and membership chair for the Greater Cleveland Orff Chapter and is currently serving as the content curator for the Teaching With Orff community. In addition, she is the owner and CEO of Three Little Birds Music Education Services LLC where she offers teacher training, coaching and musical experiences for children and adults. She earned Orff Certification from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014, and has completed Music Learning Theory General Music Level One, Level One World Music Drumming training, Level One Google Certification and has earned the Ohio Master Teacher designation.

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  1. Tara Webb on October 21, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you so much for that. The end of the grading quarter is Friday for us and I needed that:)

  2. Stephanie Gummersheimer on October 21, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    This was a great idea! Thanks!
    Here is your permission to repeat favorite activities with the students. They can move forward in their curriculum another day.

  3. Brenda on October 21, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this, I really needed it, especially today. I need to remind to myself I cannot be a stellar teacher every day, and today was NOT one of those days. I give myself permission to slow down and just… breathe.

  4. Robin Quist on October 21, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks you so much. I am sharing this with my flock of teachers, who are overwhelmed, stressed out and exhausted on this “new frontier.”

    Robin Quist, President local teacher association in MA.

  5. Bill on October 21, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Bless you for this permission slip. Wish I had permission from my administrator to teach and just be me.

  6. Heather on October 21, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Outstanding! After a night of virtual conferences and staying at work until 9pm, I needed this today. Thank you!

  7. Melissa Monaghan-Lopez on October 22, 2020 at 5:59 am

    Thank you posting this, I really needed to read this, especially this week.

  8. Lynn Hradnansky on October 22, 2020 at 6:58 am

    Wonderful, great timing! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Colleen on October 22, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Thank you so much. I really needed to read that.

  10. Suzanne Feltner on October 22, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Thank you so much for this! Absolutely what I needed today.

  11. Corinna on October 22, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    I needed to see this today! Thank you!

  12. Pamela Tehuiotoa on October 23, 2020 at 10:44 am

    This is a blessing! I copied this and shared it out to all of my school colleagues! We ALL need to give ourselves permission to do these things. Thank you!

  13. Darlene on October 28, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you LeslieAnn! Absolutely beautiful! Here is your permission slip to enjoy the breathtaking fall colors and soak in the beauty before us. ☀️

  14. Amy Pryor on October 29, 2020 at 10:53 am

    I needed each and every one of these. We seem to put such high expectations upon ourselves as music teachers, and I am drowning in the waters of my own “inner critic’s” voice. Thank you for rescuing us with these powerful words.

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