Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Finding and Maintaining Fulfillment in your Career in String Education

On Saturday, January 23, I will be presenting the session, Finding and Maintaining Fulfillment in your Career in String Education, at UNCG's Southeast Honors Strings Festival and Conference. Back in the summer of 2015, Dr. Rebecca MacLeod asked me to put a session together on the topic of "teacher burnout" and this is the result of that work. The abstract that I put together for the session (before the session was actually formulated) reads as follows:

In this session, participants will consider their level of fulfillment with their work and career in string education. The presenter will provide a variety of focus areas for consideration and models for identifying and assessing career fulfillment.  Attendees will be asked to consider (and perhaps share) their roles as  artists/educators, motivations for embarking on a career in string education, sense of mission in the school and community, complexity of their work, perspective on workload, busy schedules, and a balanced life. Participants will walk away with strategies to find fulfillment in their careers while balancing their personal and professional life. 

In preparing for this hour-long lecture/discussion, I have accumulated a number of models that look at professional fulfillment and I even generated one of my own. I have had numerous interesting and in-depth conversations with colleagues and have found a genuine interest and passion for the topic. It is so interesting to dig deep and see how folks think about themselves and the work where they spend so much time and energy, as well as the motivation for the pursuit of success and fulfillment. I hope to offer the attendees the opportunity to identify strengths and growth opportunities as part of the session and, in the end, have an enlightening discussion.

As part of the session, I have generated a small survey/pretest for the participants. I am thinking that it will be more of a primer for discussion than any sort of real research. But, I got to thinking that it might be fun to have some broader input to the results. So, I am asking you, my readers and friends, to feel free to take the survey. I am particularly interested in music educators' responses. However, if you are an arts educator, you may certainly take it as well, substituting your art in place of music. If you are a non-musician, feel free to take the survey and simply don't answer the questions that are arts-related. The survey will take only a few minutes. Again, it is simply a primer for our discussion. Then, in the coming weeks, I will write a longer post here that will fill you in on the content of the session and, perhaps, some of the results. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this discussion!

Take Survey

All my best.


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