One of the things I am learning is that part of being a good teacher is having a pocket full of, no wait, a bag full of tricks for moments when kids need some... refocusing. When I first started teaching, I was petrified of sitting in front of twenty one children and talking, never mind singing a song or doing a presentation. I didn't even know any songs, or so I thought. This year, it's a whole new ball game. I don't have many tricks in my bag, but one of them works like a charm, and that is my singing voice.
My entire life I have been drawn to music and I think I was singing before I was talking. If you asked my mom, she'd tell you all about my "highlight reel" from Disney World when I was in sixth grade. It involves some sort of karaoke with a green screen, a Whitney Houston song, and a leather jacket with a cowboy hat. As I got older, athletics became more of my thing and the singing faded into the background. But you better believe that when I would lie in bed at night, I was visualizing myself as the lead singer in the 1980's broadway show, "Big River." Big River was my FAVORITE show in the world. I knew (and still know) every single word to every single song on the soundtrack. So, it was quite easy for me to see myself as the lead role, even though the lead was a man. If I am right, Peter Pan was played by a woman many times, so there.
I digress. My desire to sing publicly has resurfaced and I am grateful to have a brother who is an amazing musician. He and I sing when we are together and have actually sang at venues a few times. We also did a little Sade number at my sisters wedding. Those were nerve-wracking but exciting opportunities for me, but I needed more. And then it happened, my classroom became my stage.
I sing everything! "Hand on the raaaaaillliiinnngggg, hand on the raiilllinnnng. Walking so lovely uuuuupppp to the gyymmmmm." And my favorite this week, "Blackbird" by the Beatles. Of course I shorten that one to make it quick, but man is it effective! It's also such a wonderful feeling to sit in front of the children now and help them to focus in just by the sound of my voice. I don't feel like I've mastered anything as a student teacher, but this little gem of a strategy is helping me towards that goal.