Jedi Music

A Resource for the Beginning Elementary Music Teacher


Teacher Attitudes: Fallibility and Embracing Your Imperfection

Have you ever known someone who just couldn’t be wrong?  How about people who only value their own opinion?  Did you ever try to work with someone who doesn’t accept input from others?  “Miss Can’t Be Wrong” or “Mr. Perfect” can be your worst nightmare in the workplace.

One of the unlikely attitudes I’ve come to embrace as a teacher is that of fallibility.  Accepting my imperfection means that I can be wrong and that I probably will be wrong on many occasions.  My responsibility is to learn from my mistakes, and to try my best to correct any wrongs that I have caused.  Adopting the attitude of the “perpetual student” who is always learning, along with constantly adjusting my lesson delivery keeps my teaching fresh and interesting (a benefit to both me and my students!)

We don’t expect that a new teacher will never make a mistake.  We all make mistakes; usually daily…it’s a part of being human.  What is very important for a new teacher is that they reflect on their mistakes and learn from them.  When a lesson doesn’t go as we planned, we take time to brainstorm ways that it can be better for the next time.  A blessing to us in the elementary music world is that we don’t have to wait until next year to try again because we are teaching the same lessons to different groups of students all week long!
While I’m sure that you have delved into the learning styles that you will encounter in the classroom, and probably can identify your own multiple intelligences, I’d like to offer you one more that I’ve found most useful as a teacher: trial and error learning style.  I’ve learned very valuable lessons as a result of trial and error.

Never be afraid to make a mistake.  Never fail to learn from your mistakes.  Have you experienced this as a teacher? Do you remember a teacher in your past who let their imperfections show and you thought more of them because of it?


  1. "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving: they make mistakes, but they don't quit. -Conrad Hilton

  2. "Making a different mistake every day is not only acceptable, it is the definition of progress." -Robert Brault

  3. "Our mistakes from the past are just that: mistakes. And they were necessary in order to become the wiser person we are now." -Bill Maher

  4. Mistakes Can Be Your Teachers; Find the Lessons and Find Time
    1. Mistakes Are Okay. Giving yourself the gift of this compassionate perspective will open untold doors for you. That’s because when your heart is open, nothing is lost. You fully embrace your experiences, no matter what they are, knowing that they will open you to new levels of energy and insight.

    2. Mistakes Are Simply Lessons Waiting To Befriend You.
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