Are you a piano teacher? If so, let me ask you a question:
Do you enjoy your work? I mean – really enjoy it, all the time?
I’m fairly sure that most of us, if we are honest, will recognise that while we love our work in general, there are times where fatigue, impatience, distraction and even boredom can set in, even very fleetingly. And while we may feel a little guilty or inadequate in those moments, the reality is that in any job – however wildly fulfilling – we all experience “off days” and times when our heart isn’t quite so far into it as usual.
To counter the negative feelings that this can produce, I invite you to consider this wonderful quote from Buddhist teacher Haemin Sunim:
“Those who work in a playful, relaxed manner
tend to work efficiently and creatively;
Those who work non-stop, driven only by stress,
work without joy.”
Haemin Sunim, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down (2012)
In this post I am going to consider what it might mean to “work in a playful manner”, and how this could make all the difference for our students.