You Are Not Alone
An Open Letter to Music Teachers
Dear music teacher friends, these words are on my heart tonight.
You. Are NOT. Alone.
If you have questioned your worth during this pandemic and wondered whether your job really matters to people, you are not alone.
If you have cried more tears since March than you have in the past many years combined, you are not alone.
If you are having to reevaluate, reframe, redesign, reimagine, and recreate your entire way of doing your job, you are not alone.
If you feel incredibly grateful to still have your job and still incredibly sad, frustrated, and hurt at all you have lost, you are not alone.
If you are afraid that you will get sick, you are not alone.
If you worry about how your students will feel and struggle if you do get sick, you are not alone.
If the loss of singing in your daily life makes your soul ache, you are not alone.
If thinking about taking hands in a circle with your students creates a lump in your throat, you are not alone.
If you wish you were considered a “real” teacher, you are not alone.
If you realized that you can’t recognize your students with their masks on, and that your heart hurts to miss their smiles, you are not alone.
If the inability to wrap your kiddos in a hug as they returned to school broke you, you are not alone.
If you are worried that you will fail before you begin, you are not alone.
If you lie awake at night worrying, and dream all of your worries to life when you do sleep, you are not alone.
If you never realized how much your music room felt like home until you lost it, you are not alone.
If you are struggling to learn how to make music in a minimalist way, both in terms of materials and media, you are not alone.
If you worry about creating connections when children have to stay continually separated, you are not alone.
If you are planning movement lessons that involve desks, you are not alone.
You. Matter. You do. I know you don’t feel like you do. But that doesn’t make it real.
To those little loves that are ours during the tiny bit of time we have them, you matter. You are the joy in some child’s day. You are the escape from failure that some child feels. You are the breath of fresh air, the change, the renewal, that some child needs. And THAT knowledge, however faded and tattered and broken it feels, no matter how many tears we cry, no matter how devalued we feel, that knowledge is what will help us make it through the hardest first year all of us have ever endured. We might emerge scarred and jaded and a bit worse for wear.
But imagine the weeping of joy that will happen someday, when we join hands with our kiddos in a circle again. I’m holding on for that.
You. Are NOT. Alone.