Music Ed Mondays – If Only

“If only.”

Do you ever find yourself saying that? I find myself saying that all the time.

“If only there was more time in the day.”

“If only there were more money in the budget.”

“If only I weren’t so tired all the time.”

Those two words carry a lot of power because they really convince us of our own limitations as though the universe were conspiring to hold something back from us.  I mean, the ones above are small obstacles, but it’s often the smallest obstacles that inhibit us the most.  Time, money and fatigue hit us hard both at work and at home, right? They apply to almost everybody, almost all the time.

That’s everybody’s story.

I wrestle with that a lot, but so does everybody – it’s everybody’s story.

So… now what? I’m just like everybody else, but everyone else can do it – what’s blocking me?

Maybe it’s the things that are out of my control (because I can give commitments up to make more time, I can scrimp on luxuries to save more money and I can forego activities to sleep more).

“If only I were better at classroom management.”

“If only there were another teacher around to help me.”


What’s interesting about those two big problems is that they’re actually solvable with a bit of dialogue, relationship-building and research.  Ask other teachers how they deal with classroom management or poke around the internet (in the age of the internet, there is no need for a teacher to feel like there is a lack of resources).  Talk to your administrators or your counselors, or other teachers you really respect.  Also, if you’re not of the younger type, talk to the younger teachers because they may have some new ideas that will blow your mind.  Don’t be the old dog that can’t learn new tricks 🙂

This post isn’t about strategies, it’s about recognizing the barrier: IF ONLY.  The “strategies” listed above aren’t meant as an elixir or cure-all, but just demonstrate that the barrier can be overcome… most barriers can 🙂

This is the first of three blog posts in a little series about approaching the obstacles in our lives and our classrooms.  Your homework has two parts:

1) Find one “If Only” (big or small) and write it down in a place where you won’t lose it by next week.

2) Below it, write “What does the solution look like?”

If you feel bold, write it in the comment section as a public commitment.

Good luck!

PS: Image gotten from Gloomies, isn’t it cute?

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