Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunshine and Music and Teeth

When I had been teaching young children for about four years, I became aware of a children's singer named Raffi. We had this album of his at work and it was absolutely wonderful. The kids loved it and I grew to love it too. Raffi has recorded many albums over the years, including one for adults and one focusing on environmental issues. He is still one of my favorite children's recording artists. His songs bring about what I would consider sunshine in the soul.

Raffi came to mind a few minutes ago as I was noticing the sun outside. He had recorded a song about the sun shining down, and as I looked out the window, this song suddenly ran through my head. Too many years of teaching young children will do that to you. Other people hear "Sunshine on my Shoulders"; I hear "Mr. Sun". Regardless of what you hear in those moments, it made me stop and think about two things. First, how wonderful it is to actually see the sun again after such a long, cold winter. I live in a place where we may get one snowfall a year--this year we probably had half a dozen. And not only did it snow, but it was bitterly cold...and there were plenty of days that it was just warm enough to rain cold, miserable drops. The sun seemed to have disappeared for weeks on end. But now here it is, returning to us. I hear birds when I wake up again. Grass is starting to grow. Goodbye to a long, cold winter!

I also thought, though, about Raffi and his ability to capture children's imaginations and bring such joy to people through music.

The other day, one of the children in my class lost a tooth. I promised him that we would sing a song to celebrate losing his tooth. I sometimes dig myself in kind of deep with the crazy promises I make to kids. I pondered that song off and on for a couple of days and didn't come up with anything. The pressure was on. Finally, when it was time to show everyone what had happened, I pulled some ridiculous song out at the last minute about losing a tooth. It was simple enough the kids could sing along. I felt kind of silly--I mean, it was about two lines long. But the kids liked it, and the child who lost a tooth felt special.

I'm no Raffi. But I try to treat the children in my class with respect and with honor when it comes to things they consider important. Often times I think that it may just be the little things, like the tooth song, that make the difference for a child in how s/he feels in the classroom and about his or her teacher. And if it brings happiness, why not sing a two line ditty about losing a tooth?

Talk about random posts. So the moral is to enjoy the sunshine and enjoy your teeth! And enjoy any songs that someone might sing to you about them. :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment