Music Ed Mentor Podcast #032: Battling Burnout with Best Practices

I am absolutely thrilled about this episode because we discuss the number one thing you can do to improve your teaching, career, and life: take care of you. We talk about ways to prevent burnout.

The discussion is all about self-care, holistic wellness, and implementing the best practices in your life to create a sustainable career. Joining me is my friend and co-author Fernando Penaloza. He’s in his fourth year of teaching and just took on a robust high school program one week before band camp started. We’ll be tapping into not only our own careers and lives, but the results of several recent surveys that explore music educator burnout, and how to avoid it.

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Key Takeaways

Bring in others to listen

Have the vulnerability to bring somebody in to observe your rehearsals. It’s important to get this outsider perspective. Of course you can pick someone you’re comfortable with and from whom you’d welcome feedback and constructive criticism.

Say no more often

It’s okay to say no sometimes to somethings, both at work and at home. This is an important thing for us all to learn and practice. Take a minute to step back, evaluate, and prioritize.

The best educators delegate

You need to have open communication with parent boosters, student leadership, music staff, and other partners. Asking them for help doesn’t mean you can’t do things; it means you’re a good manager and that you value the contributions of others. Remember that people do like to hear “I need you.”

Additional Resources

Elisa Janson Jones

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.