You Got Your First Music Teaching Job, Now What?Aug 11, 2020
Congratulations! You’ve just received that long-awaited job offer you worked so hard for! Now that the offer has finally come, you can hardly contain your excitement -- and for good reason! You are about to enter one of the most fulfilling career fields out there.
But now that you have the job offer in hand… What do you do?
Don’t worry, friend! It’s normal to feel all different types of emotions once you’ve landed an elementary music job. Excitement! Nervousness... Joy! Anxiety... Those are all totally normal, I promise you!
Once you’ve worked your way through the extremes of your emotional rollercoaster, take a look at these recommendations for what to do next:
1. Take care of the paperwork
This one may seem obvious, but make sure you take care of all of the HR/business stuff before you do anything else. Talk to your HR person about the details of your contract, how to get enrolled in insurance benefits, and anything else you may have questions about. They’re there to help, so don’t feel bad about asking questions!
2. Check out your new room!
You have your very own music room now! Whether this is your first job, or you’re coming here from another school, this is one of the most exciting parts! When I first got my job, I couldn’t WAIT to be in my space.
I got a feeling of where my desk was going to be, what kind of storage space I had, and what supplies were already in there. It helped give me an idea of what I had on hand so that I could start lesson planning right away! (After all, it’s hard to do a ukulele unit without ukuleles!) And speaking of instruments...
3. Take inventory
If you’re lucky, this part may have already been done for you. (Even so, I recommend double checking it just in case!) See what types of instruments you have, and what kind of condition they’re in. Do they need cleaning or repairs? Better to take care of that stuff now instead of later when you’ll need them!
Also, I recommend making an inventory of any books or other resources you have in your room. I made myself a spreadsheet of all the books I have, and it has come in handy so many times!
4. Think about your routines
Try to picture what your day is going to be like. What is your schedule? When is your lunch? Not only that, also start thinking about routines for your classes. For example, I start each of my classes with some sort of mindfulness or focus activity and I end my lessons with a recap/cool down activity.
How do you envision your lessons? It’s okay to not have all the answers yet, but definitely start thinking about it!
5. Take a breath and celebrate
You’ve got this! You did the work. You aced the interview. You got the job! Even though there are a lot of things to think about and plan for, please take comfort in the fact that you are now part of one of the most supportive career fields out there.
You have the opportunity to impact the lives of wonderful kids through the power of music! Take some time tonight to celebrate this amazing accomplishment - you’ve earned it!
Congratulations again, music teacher friend! You are going to be amazing! Whether you’ve been in this field for your entire adult life, or this is your first teaching position, a new job is an exciting time in a person’s life. That excitement can also be coupled with a lot of questions and uncertainty.
Want to make your classroom more inclusive? In this mini-course you'll learn my Inclusive Music Blueprint to make planning high-quality, differentiated lessons for self-contained classes a breeze!
If you’re looking for a community of elementary music teachers who will help and support you every step of the way, you should join the General Music Mastermind group on Facebook! Can’t wait to see you there!
This article was submitted by Rachel Ammons, contributing author for ThatMusicTeacher.com. Interested in becoming a contributing author? Email resume and writing sample to [email protected].