I just had an experience 2 weeks ago as we were getting ready for a musical program. A students' mom had informed me that her 3rd grader had stage fright and would not be performing in the program. The email came across as "final". But in my best positive attitude I emailed the mother back and asked if I might speak with her daughter and encourage her to try. Sure--was the response, so in my trying not to be too pushy teacher manner, I encouraged her to work through the process--learn the songs, the choreography, participate in the practices and then see how she felt on stage during the dress rehearsal. She loved the music--it was all gospel and spirituals about the fight for freedom and Martin Luther King Jr. We got to the dress rehearsal and she was absent for it. I wondered what she would do the next day at the program...she did amazing! Now she beams at me every time I see her..And she and her sisters came to my room and gave me Girl Scout cookies. Who could ask for more? Who cares about Mt. Everest! I watched that little girl climb our of her shy shell and up a tough mountain and she did it! I'm so proud of her. Makes it all worth while. I just love her smile.
I may not be the hero in this story--but I did help her become one. Isn't that the same thing? I mean, all of my favorite heroes are heroes because they are helping people out of a difficult, dangerous and sometimes even deadly situation. So don't you and I do that every day? We help the child who can't tell right from left when we sing solfa, or do a scarf activity or a dance. We help the child who can't read well when we echo chant and tap the words to "Engine, Engine No. 9". And we help a child who doesn't quite fit in--but sings perfect pitch become the "cool kid" of the music room. There are millions of ways in which we help kids learn, grow and change every day--so doesn't that make us heroes?
What's my superpower?
I help kids make music.
Not only that-but I can write a song about anything. My students are used to me taking a rhythm chant, picking up my guitar and then turning it into a song. Just last week my guitar students were composing Valentine songs using candy hearts for inspiration.
As I worked my way around the room helping them, one said; I think it's a slow love song. So I sang and played it on the guitar over dramatizing the "love" parts. We had a good laugh. Then I did a pop one for someone else. That got the room buzzing- everyone busy composing their little songs. For the first time ever, that class didn't want to leave music-they wanted to keep on writing their songs. Maybe that super power shouldn't be in my back pocket? I don't know, music class is so short and I don't like to take time away from student learning-but it it inspires and motivates them to get into quadrant D thinking-then it's totally worth it!
What's Your Super Power?
I hope you'll share it in the comments below.