Music Teacher Tip #46:
As many of you know, I spent my entire K-12 teaching career in the inner city schools of Charlotte. Mostly because I knew those kids needed me the most and I wanted to make a difference. I also love a good come-back story and wanted to prove that these kids were capable of just as much as the kids in the wealthier schools.
One particular memory stands out to me. I took my students from Statesville Road Elementary School to the Carowinds Choral Festival. I believe this school was about 85-90 percent free and reduced lunch at this time. My chorus was comprised of about 60-70 4th and 5th graders in an "auditioned" group. The audition was just to make sure they could pay attention and had nothing to do with their musical ability at the time of the audition. (Spoiler: everyone got in.) I knew that if they could focus enough to listen that I could teach them.
For every trip, I took about 7 or 8 parents to chaperone. One parent decided to sit close enough to the judges that she could hear what they were saying. As we exited the stage and were waiting for the judges' feedback, two amazing things happened. The first was that the parent who was listening in approached me and whispered, "I think it went really well." Always the skeptic I asked her how she knew that. She said she overheard one of the judges say to another one, "Where is THIS group from???"
We ended up getting straight superiors and one of the judges even came out to shake my hand and congratulate the kids. I found it funny that they wanted to know where they were from - as if kids couldn't achieve that level of performance at any school.
The truth is, there are barriers to greatness everywhere. But remember this, ALL kids can learn. All kids can be amazing. YOU can make a difference wherever you are.
Happy teaching! ❤️🎶