How a choir teacher found new purpose during the pandemic
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The pandemic has forced many people to re-evaluate their professional decisions.
About 20% of workers have switched jobs since it started and 26% plan to look for a new job when the threat of the pandemic decreases, according to Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey.
Among them is Jordan Leckband, who was working as a middle school and high school choir teacher in western Iowa in 2019. He was looking to find a new job because of a long commute.
“I told my wife, I will do this commute for a year, and then we’ll see where we are,” Leckband said. “But the pandemic kind of accelerated our situation.”
Spending more time at home during the pandemic provided perspective on his work-life balance. “I was hoping to be the hotshot choir teacher, teaching at a high school, going to competitions, and then reality set in,” Leckband said. “There’s a lot of late nights, there’s weekends that you have to sacrifice, and I felt like my life was out of balance.”
Delving into his job search, Leckband said he stumbled upon an elementary school music teacher position – a direction he hadn’t seriously considered before.
“In June of 2020, I saw on the job board that there was a job for an elementary school that is about two minutes away from my house with stoplights, so I applied, and the rest is history,” Leckband said.
He’s now the K-5 general music teacher at Windsor Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. While the job is different from the work he was doing before, Leckband said teaching music to elementary school students prioritizes what he enjoys the most — the connection with the students.
“If you would have told me when I was in college that I was going to be teaching elementary general music, I would have laughed in your face, but I realized that it is really what I want to do, teaching the basics to young students,” Leckband said. “I love it and I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
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