For fifth and sixth grade, I was enrolled in a school where they focused heavily on music and fine arts. It was AWESOME for me, but not so awesome for my education. Each day, we would have a half hour of gym and a half hour of music. The program seems so ironic looking back...We BARELY focused on the essentials of education, but I would say with utmost certainty that in those two years I came across some of the best teachers in the business. All were very well educated, had very efficient ways of holding our attention, and weren't afraid to kick back and have a great time! The main music teacher held his phd in music (why he decided to use it to teach a bunch of bratty 11 and 12 year olds is BEYOND me!). He would laboriously teach notes, rhythm, history about the great composers of the past and the classic good ole' recorder. He was fun for the most part, especially once you could see past his flamboyant bitchy side. Come spring time, he would take a two month vacation, and his fill in was his EXACT opposite. I'll refer to him as Mr. E or ME. ME presented himself with a very quiet demeanor. He also had long hair and gave off hippy vibes. He was everyones' favorite. He would have us ditch the boring rhythm curriculum, and break out the acoustic guitars. Class time would be spent with everyone sitting in a circle, holding their own guitar and strumming along to some of his original songs and singing at the top of our lungs. It was probably some of the best times I've ever spent in a formal classroom setting. He was truly an aspiring musician, and had even released a cd (which I purchased and to this day still get his songs stuck in my head without having heard them for years!!). About a year or so after I had moved onto middle school, I learned that ME's two year old daughter had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and had to undergo a fairly intensive surgery. She survived, and healed. I really don't know if I would have been able to summon the amount of courage him and his wife did to support their little princess.
I know this is a fairly long tangent..and it has taken me a while to get to the point, but bear with me. Life and the way we present ourselves is a funny thing sometimes. Even through the eyes of a fifth grader, I could see the strength and feel the determination to make the best of things through the quiet presence of ME. I still look up to his warm hearted nature.
I won't be able to teach little man to play the guitar, but I certainly hope he experiences some great teachers while growing up. Teachers play such an influential role in a child's life...most of which isn't really recognized or whole-heartedly appreciated until much later in life.
So a big (random) thanks to Mr. E and all of the great teachers I had while growing up :)
What was your favorite classroom moment growing up? Did you have an inspirational teacher that you'll always remember?
4 days ago