Reflections on teaching

It’s been around 3 weeks since I started teaching elementary music. The greatest challenge is that I have to make music accessible to the broadest range of ages imaginable. Today I taught kindergarteners, 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Tomorrow I will add 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders to the mix. Each age has its own unique characteristics. So I not only have to plan lessons around their uniqueness I also have to be able to relate to them personally and as an educator. I’ve had days of feeling really successful and at least one day when I wondered what the hell I thought I was doing.

But I have to say that the moments that make it all worthwhile are when I work with the youngest kids… the kindergarteners and 1st graders, and the special needs kids. Watching their excitement as they _get_ to play a shaker or bells. Seeing the joy in their eyes as I play the music they “wrote” by putting their M and M’s on a staff.

You would think that in ministry you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you were changing lives. But the older people get the more they keep their cards close to their chest. I never felt like I was making a difference in the lives of the people I served for the last 2 and a half years. I honestly don’t know what they needed or if they needed anything at all. But today when I was marching around the room with 20 kindergartneres behind me singing “Bow bow bow belinda” I knew that I was bringing joy to these kids. It’s nice to be making a difference again.

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