Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thank You for Singing

I stood in the back of the room and watched as their names were called. The students came forward and were handed their rolled up diplomas. They posed and (hopefully) smiled for their parents, eagerly and hungrily snapping pictures. Then they returned to their seats where the rolled diplomas quickly became spyglasses, trumpets, and even guns.

Yesterday the preschool where I work had its first ever "Stepping Up" ceremony for the 4 year olds.

At the end of the ceremony the 40 or so kids stood at the front, singing the words we sang together at the end of every music class I've taught there over the last 4 years:

(to the tune of Frere Jaques)
Goodbye Friends, Good Friends
Time to Go, Time to Go
Thank You for Singing, Thank You for Singing
Love You So, Love You So.

I stood in the back of the room, signing along with tears in my eyes. Because the kids aren't the only ones moving on. I will never again sit in a circle with those kids, singing those words. Waving goodbye. The hugs and the high-fives that followed will go to another teacher next year.

I fell into the job when the previous teacher moved on to a full time job, and the director of the preschool asked if I was interested. I protested with my lack of formal music training. She said she knew I could sing and do hand motions. And that I would love the kids.

And I have loved those kids. True, there were days I wanted to duct tape a few of them to a chair. But even those kids... I have loved them. It has been a joy to watch them grow. It has also been a joy to watch the teachers who work with them. If you haven't thanked a preschool teacher lately, do it today. It takes an amazing kind of person to do that job.

It has been a gift to me to share music with so many children. One morning as I left for school I said to my husband "I'm off to instill a love of music in small children." I hope that I have. They have helped deepen mine.


Anonymous said...

So true - I go in to the pre-school or the Kindergarten class a few times a year to do art projects with them - they're so lovable... in small doses. I honestly don't know how the teachers do it, because maintaining control requires second-by-second vigilance.

It's got to be hard for the teachers to start over with new students every year. Just like in any other workplace, sometimes you get a group that really clicks, or a person you especially like, and it's never the same when they move on.

It's wonderful that you were able to share your gifts with those children, and after a (hopefully short) period of time, you'll settle in and the magic will start happening again. That's just how you roll.

Magpie said...

I bet you were wonderful with them, and you'll be wonderful with another group in another place.

Beck said...

Aw. You'll be a blessing at your next job, too.

Furrow said...

I really do need to thank Zo's teachers. I think about it often, but I forget in the rush of dropping her off. They are so good and loving with the kids, and I'm sure you are, too.

kayerj said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your job--and it's nice to have the reminder to be grateful and express gratitude.

Sarah said...

I KNOW you have.

This was so moving.

Kyla said...

Awww. There is something so special about pouring something in to a child's life, something that might spark something in them that they carry forever, because of least in part.

Kat said...

Awww. I really am not good at saying goodbye. So hard. :(

But think of all the wonderful hellos coming! :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Kat has a great way of looking at it!