As a substitute teacher, I have the advantage of floating around various grade levels in the local schools in my city. This allows me the opportunity to listen and observe students from preschool through 12th grade. I enjoy seeing the world through their eyes and listening to their thoughts, and I was just considering my experiences last week.
In preschool, there can be a lot of drama. These little kiddos wear their hearts on their sleeves; they are at that tender age where they are learning how to navigate the world, how to get along, and how to share resources. The trouble comes in understanding their little voices that sometimes fade as they are talking to you and you are listening….with old ears.
As I surveyed the children playing merrily on the playground, at least merrily for the first ten seconds of recess, there was a small tug on my sweater….
“MISS B!….Jared took my muffle muffled or lada bkakdll.laadiw ….. !!!
I’m sorry, what did he do?
HE TOOK MY muffle muffle small voice muffle muffle……!
Okay, where’s Jared?”
Teary eyed little girl points across the yard.
“Jared? Are you Jared?……”
Later on, in an elementary popcorn reading group, we read about Paul Revere and various other patriots who had to saddle up and do their duty….
“The CONtinent’s army…”
“The Continental Army”
“The Continental Army mustard”
“And he had to say goodbye to his SWEATheart….”
Then right in the middle of it all, there is Junior High. I adore junior high, but there are many brave souls who won’t venture inside that high energy environment. I have received quite humorous comments from this age group before, but on one particular day, I received a sobering question from a student who asked, “Is it true that life just gets worse when you are a grown up?” I paused on that one, coming as it did right out of the blue. The answer I chose, “Life is what you make it.”
Lastly, high school. These kiddos are always on their best game, they are sly, they are agile, they are techno savvy. They also try to set you up.
“Who ya voting for Miss?”
“Oh come on, you know I can’t tell you those things.”
“No, you can Miss, you just can’t tell us the reasons.”
(Note to self….is this election anywhere near reasonable????)
“Do you think Donald Trump is a racist? He’s a racist, Miss…..”
I handled this situation with my stern librarian English teacher stare, and let me tell you, that sure put them in their place.
From soft voices to loud ones. My little band has been busy wrapping up their CD release and playing shows in California and doing a few radio shows. The Rock Guy is hoping to get many of his songs recorded before he decides to hang up his guitar for awhile. My favorite song on the CD is There’s Been a Change. Like many songs, there’s a story behind it. There might actually be a novel. Maybe someday I will write it, maybe I won’t. Life is like that, busy and full on, not that it gets worse when you grow up, but that you must shoulder all that responsibility that we are educating our kids to handle someday when their voices are strong, and they seek their path in the world to the beat of their own music.
I’ve felt this way in my past, a Maryland September day, I may not ever come back….
Hanging backstage with the Rock Guy at an Alice Cooper Concert: