Instructor, Windsor, ON - July 24, 2016
A typical day involves arriving, checking the lesson schedule for the day (cancellations or additions can be made last-minute) and going over lesson plans. You have an assigned room that facilitates your instrument of instruction. Parents and students come in and out and you teach, update the parents and then report to your supervisor about the general status of lessons and anything salient or upcoming.
I learned how to bring energy and enthusiasm to bear when you are not feeling those things, as your ability to elicit such from your students is a huge part of the job. I learned about my own weaknesses in trying to balance friendly behaviour with authoritative behaviour, keeping focused for hours on end and, in presenting facts to members of the public in such a way as to both be informative and supportive.
The management is excellent. They are cooperative, helpful, and competent. They root for you to succeed and do many things to coordinate your student load with your schedule.
Co-workers are generally quite friendly. The teachers are technically sub-contracted and, as such, there is a bit a variance in the teaching staff every so often. Most of them are affable and competent. Some of them are merely affable.
The most difficult part of the job is reconciling the expectations of members of the public with the reality of instruction. For example: a parent wishes their child to achieve a certain certification or level within a set period of time but the child is either unwilling or unable to achieve this goal (for many possible reasons). Often, though you can be on good terms with the parent, their frustration with their child's perceived lack of progress towards this goal can lead to many ill things: the dismissal of the student, antagonism toward the student, refusal to acknowledge the student's effort (invalidating a child is a terrible thing) et cetera.
The most enjoyable part of the job is simply when a student has some breakthrough or joyful moment. To see a five-year-old smile and giggle because they are making music, or to see a college student get shivers from their joy of music is a remarkable thing.