I was going through some folder handouts from a school the other day, and came across a wonderful sheet of paper. It appeared to be a simple take-home sheet, listing the day, the name of the class, the concepts worked on and the homework for next week. Since the eight week class had finished, I turned the paper over to see if I could use the other side.
To my delight and excitement, I could not. It seems the back side had been used as a canvas, filled up with an endless supply of drawings and slogans. There were pictures of the girl holding her hand in the air, cheering. Pictures of pianos and music notes, quarter rests and sunshine. There was writing covering the page, each saying more excited than the last. ‘Piano is so fun!’ ‘My teacher is the best!’ ‘I LOVE MUSIC!’
All of this was drawn on the last day of an eight-week, hour-long class.
There are so many lessons here it’s hard to know where to start. The first thing I think is, ‘this is the reason.’ This is why we educate. We teach to inspire wonder in our students, so that for the rest of the day, they are thinking about what we’ve taught. So that after their eight-week (or ten-week, or year-long, or whatever length you like) class is over, they remember how much fun and joy they received from thinking, moving, playing. We teach so that they can take these experiences with them, use them, grow from them, pass them on, and make themselves and the world around them better.
It doesn’t take a lifetime to make a difference. It can happen in an hour, or in an instant. We are often so wrapped up in our own lives that we fail to realize the impact we have on others. This is true of every interaction we have, and especially true, I think, of the teacher-student relationship. We have all been affected by our teachers, sometimes positively, sometimes otherwise. How many college teachers inspired after only a semester? How many remember their first-grade teacher’s name? I sure do.
No matter where this little girl is headed in her life, she will remember the awesome piano class she took when she was in second grade. This incredible experience happened (hopefully not for the last time), and it happened because a teacher inspired. These moments can happen in group settings, in the middle of an all day summer camp, or in an hour-long class that only runs for a few weeks. Make no mistake: if we educate to the best of our ability, they will happen.Looking for great music classes near you? Check out this site with options from group lesson locations to lessons in your own home!