I made it through the first week back and it's time for All-County. This time for my 6th graders, some of who had me laughing during rehearsal today. I have one kid who is such a ham and was dancing and enjoying the music so much it was a joy to watch him. He did need some reminders to stay focused but it was so amazing to see that unbridled enthusiasm for singing. It reminded me of how much I used to love these weekends as a kid....they are probably a huge part of why I became a music teacher in the first place.
I also got to see one of the teachers who definitely inspired me to become a music teacher. Ms. J was my band director in middle school and I remember deciding that I would go to the college she did and become a music teacher in 8th grade. It all happened, though when it did I was sure that I was meant to be performer and this was just a "back up plan." Ms. J, myself and another teacher had a fantastic discussion about a teacher we all and our VERY different reactions. 15 years before I was in high school Mr. M was energetic and inspirational. He was to Ms. J what she was to me. By the time I was in HS he was more apathetic and really not the teacher I can imagine he was during the peak of his career.
This discussion is making me think tonight about how I need to find ways to continue enjoying my students and their learning. It is so easy to get bogged down in the every day nonsense that has nothing to do with music. I am not sure when I fell in love with music but it might be time to start looking at how to bring that love into my classes more regularly. What music made me want to sing? (Ok, I know Les Mis was involved somehow...it's the first Broadway show I remember listening and singing along to repeatedly on cassette. Yes, I'm old.) I know I pick music I love when prepping for concerts, but I'm not always sure I pass that love on to all of my kids. Is that even possible?