It seems I have a few of these per year - a miserable teaching day. 6 of the students I worked with today are preparing for the upcoming Certificate of Merit evaluations. 4 of the 6 have been slacking terribly. And it makes me sick. I started each of them on the necessary material for their level(s) back in October. There has been plenty of time in the build-up. I designed it that way. Yet here we are in February - their performances set for less than 2 weeks from now - and these 4 are floundering.
It is hard not to take this personally. These 4 students of mine will go and perform their technique, sight reading, and selected repertoire for another teacher. It's embarrassing. They will present themselves as representatives of my work. I hold my work to a high standard. It is immensely frustrating when your supposed collaborators are pulling minimum weight. Most taxing of all is trying to impose my will upon unwilling parties. A difficulty in teaching is that no matter how on point I am during the lesson time, it's up to the students and parents to implement things at home. Home practicing with these 4 has been shoddy at best.
Why am I so sensitive about all this? Ultimately they take the fall because they haven't done their part, right? If only it were that easy to let things go and have my mind feel free. I'm so disappointed right now. Going through my yearly "Why do I even go to all this effort to offer the CM program if a percentage of students are going to slack off and stress me out?". It's not worth it.
I suppose I should be more strict and just drop students who aren't exhibiting satisfactory effort. I'm too forgiving oftentimes, too concerned about ruining a student's relationship with music... for life! But where does my job end and "tough love" begin? I'm still trying to figure things out. I may never.
I hate delivering the same pep talk to the same student every week. I suppose I haven't entreated the parents early enough, but really... why haven't they entreated me?
Enough. Enough. I'll feel better in the morning.