Just Do It…

It really has been a while since my last blog post. The main reason for that is because when I started writing a blog I didn’t want it to be a forced, weekly blog. I wanted to just write stuff when I felt like I had something to write about!

But I guess if I had written a blog at the end of last term it would have been a very positive I LOVE MY JOB blog, because I do, and also the end of term was great fun. But all of that aside I come back to my blog in the middle of a lovely long summer.

I love reading, and this summer I have read loads of books. I like to read a wide range of books that serve different purposes. A murder mystery crime thriller is always a good choice for me, or a book about a person who has lived an amazing life. I like to read books that challenge me to think and I enjoy reading books that inspire me.

I have just finished a book called “Shoe Dog” and it is the memoir of Phil Knight who founded Nike. Now you might be thinking, what on earth is a music teacher doing reading a book about shoes and why is he telling us about it.

Phil Knight was a pretty amazing guy and he has ultimately done pretty well for himself. I love reading about people that achieve in the world of business and I love to find out what is behind the entrepreneur. As teachers we can often get trapped into a mindset that is far removed from the world of business, and yet what we do is possibly much more important but is also linked to other spheres of life in more ways than we sometimes realise.

Let me get to the point.

As I read the end of the book sat on a lovely beach in Cornwall I thought to myself, gosh, I wish I had started Nike and then gone on to earn billions. What fun it must be to hang out with all those sporting legends and see your brand all over the world. But then I stopped for a second, and that is when I decided to write this blog.

I stopped and reminded myself of the end of term and the fact that I absolutely love what I do. I really do adore teaching and I don’t want to put myself down just because I don’t earn a gazillion pounds and have Tiger Woods on speed dial. But reading a book like Shoe Dog helps me to realise that I want to push myself and I want to become a better teacher and refine what I do. Phil Knight and his team had to work out the perfect way to make shoes and they had to do it in a world where there were already others out there doing a better job than they were. When I go back to school in September I want to be a better teacher, streamlining what I do and always striving for success. Phil Knight said in the book that he wasn’t ever motivated by money – easy to say with billions in the bank. But in fact the journey for him wasn’t one of wealth until he eventually took Nike public in the 1970s. He was motivated by making a product that was perfect, and he built a great team around him. I want to build teams in my classrooms this year and I want to really support my students and help them to succeed but also help them to feed into the success of the department as a whole.

I was also struck by the idea of tailoring shoes to different sports and situations and this got me thinking about my students and how I desperately want to do a better job for them and give them what they need to achieve, just like Phil Knight did with Michael Jordan & Tiger Woods. I want to get to know them more, seek out their needs and then support them more than ever. I always reflect over the summer and I know I can be better and do better. So if you are a student of mine reading this, then prepare yourself for a great year!

I am therefore inspired, and excited, for the new term and I wanted to share that with you all. If you are a music teacher and you are reading this, then make sure you remember why you love your job and dare yourself to get excited about the year ahead. We might not earn loads of money selling shoes or hang out with Bill Gates at the weekend. But we will make a difference, and it is always good to remember that and go into the new term inspired and ready! We do a job that changes lives and one that if we let it, can be really fun and enjoyable.

Happy summer and I look forward to writing more posts when I get back into the new term. I have lots of topics and ideas to cover, and a couple of actual music teaching books to review. I also have some guest blogs coming up – something new I am trying!

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