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Please, just call me Courtney

August 24, 2009

I want nothing more than to jump up and down, giggling and flailing my arms, shouting from the rooftops that I have never felt more incredibly satisfied with anything in my entire life as I did this weekend.

That may be a bit of an exaggeration but if it is it’s only because the complete joy I feel is shining so bright that I can’t see past it.

It was so simple.  So effortless and simple.

And I was so stubborn.

I said, “I’ll never teach music.”  After one incredibly difficult group of first grade Sunday school boys, that turned into, “I’ll never teach.”

My teachers talked me into conducting classes but never could get me into those education courses.  I was not interested in piano proficiencies and Praxis tests.  I wanted nothing to do with large groups of kids all at the same time, and when it came up, I would tell my own private vocal instructors, “Maybe private lessons.  Maybe.  When I’m old.”

But I finished school and there was nothing to be stubborn about anymore.  It just came down to this:  What will I be most happy doing?

Haha.  Funny.  Joke was on me!
Because something deep down in my heart was screaming,


And some of you are thinking, “but don’t you want to be a singer?  a songwriter?”  and the answer is YES, I absolutely do, but I also want to teach.  Badly.  I very badly want to be a teacher.

I had incredible music teachers growing up, you guys.  INCREDIBLE.  My parents, first and foremost.  My piano teacher.  Both of my junior high band directors.  My choir director.

My private voice instructor.

These people made me who I am today.  Plain and simple.

I could probably list a hundred reasons I feel like teaching voice is the perfect job for everything I want for myself and for my community and the world at large.  But instead, I’ll just tell you this:

I spent Friday and Saturday with 10 high school girls, sophomores through seniors.  They were giggly and beautiful and so grown up yet so young.  They worked hard with me.  They improved noticeably.  They followed direction.  They were serious when I needed them to be, they were willing to stand in a circle and throw an imaginary basketball around when I needed them to understand the importance of working together.  Some were quiet, some outgoing.  And when those girls and I met up with the rest of the choir at the end of the weekend to put the music together and figure out what we had, they were brave and stood up and showed a room of a hundred other kids and 10 other teachers exactly what they could do.  I felt like they were my girls.

I was so frickin’ proud of them.

And I left at the end of both of those days thinking I could have stayed hours longer.  Given another piece of music to work on, of course.

Talking about “work” around here isn’t perhaps something I should do, and I won’t continue to do this often, and I will certainly be careful of the things I say when I decide to say them.  However, I just had to share.  I had to let you know.

If you’re leaving your job every day and you aren’t happy?  If you feel like you haven’t made the world a slightly better place than when you started?  If you feel as though you haven’t moved forward?

You’re not doing the right work for you.

Believe me, that feeling is possible.

So, I’m a music teacher.

One of the girls called me Miss Olson.

It was so weird.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2009 9:17 am

    Aww, I’m really happy for you, Mrs. Olson! Just kidding ;) But seriously, congrats, that’s awesome that you found a job you actually enjoy! That’s hard to do.

  2. August 24, 2009 10:02 am

    I’m happy for you. I spent some time as a sub–didn’t work out very well. Hopefully that’ll turn around when I start in as a TA.

  3. August 24, 2009 10:18 am

    It’s so amazing where you are and what you’ve become. I’m so proud of you Ms. Olson, and I wish you the BEST BEST BEST of luck!

  4. Kim permalink
    August 24, 2009 11:00 am

    I’m so excited for you! Nothing in the world is stranger than the first few times a student refers to you as Miss, but it will become normal shortly :)

  5. August 24, 2009 12:08 pm

    being a teacher is so rewarding

  6. August 24, 2009 10:05 pm

    You realize this post lets us call you Ms. Olson too, right? Because it’s already started.

  7. August 24, 2009 10:50 pm

    yahoo! that’s awesome. i’m glad it made you so happy and alive!

  8. cari permalink
    August 27, 2009 5:14 pm


    that’s SSSOOOO awesome!!

  9. Emily permalink
    August 28, 2009 10:49 pm

    I’m still not used to being called “ma’am” when people want to get my attention. I’m 24 years old. Aren’t I a little too young to be called “ma’am”?

    I think it’s awesome that you are achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams!

  10. August 29, 2009 1:05 am

    The first time a student said Miss JPP I choked. CRAZY.

    I loved this post because I completely understand this and wholey agree. If you don’t leave your job feeling a little fulfilled (and exhausted) you should keep searching for your perfect job fit.

    As hard as teaching can be sometimes it is my perfect job fit and it sounds like it is yours too. Good for you friend!

  11. September 1, 2009 7:06 pm

    Good for you! Congratulations, lady! That’s so exciting!

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