I wrote a post earlier last month on the importance of music in my life right now and how I’ve just relaized what an amazing effect it can have on me and all the people around me. It is here if you missed it.
A wonderful friend of mine Liz Ciko teaches music here at my school. She helped me put a song together to use in a music video with my 8th graders. Here is what she posted on my blog post from before, “That is exactly WHY I teach music!!! I am happy someone gets how it can affect you in such a positive way. I am glad you do this with the kids…I don’t think anyone else does, and it’s SO SO SO important! Yay Lauren!!!”
I am not sure I really got what she meant until today. I made two music videos with my 8th graders. They are linked here in my school blog. It was such a fun experience. I loved it and they loved it. The videos are SOOOOOO funny and I cannot wait to make more music videos or just record songs in Spanish with my students. What a difference it has made for me and the students! I’ve always been a teacher who sings and dances to get her students going…but now I am using songs that my students like and are totally into… and then using them to teach!
Another wonderful friend of mine, Kelly Goldberg, told me a couple years ago (when I was STRUGGLING in a big way) to understand and connect with my middle school students…”Lauren, what about music? Isn’t there some cool music in Spanish that might help you connect with these kids?” At that point I was so far gone trying to understand my teenage students (don’t ever try to understand teenagers, just love them and make them feel understood), I thought, “Why the heck is she telling me to play music with them? Like that would ever help….” I was in such a frustrated place, I never though music could make a difference.
Thank you Kelly and Liz for your advice! I have finally taken it and what a wonderful ride I am on in life right now. I am singing on the way to school each day, I am singing and dancing to begin all my classes at school and now we are making music videos and hopefully will be recording songs in the future. Music is such a wonderful way to connect, share, have fun, learn, etc. Again, so simple!
What I’ve finally realized about myself as a person and as a teacher, is that I ALWAYS need to try new things and keep changing up what I do in my personal life and also change up what I teach and how I do it. I am happier that way and thus a better teacher that way as well.