Saturday, December 03, 2005
Teaching little kids is sometimes very hard, and often really awesome. I have big respect for real teachers, which I am not really. But this is my main job, and here in this country, we get away doing this with very little training. I've done it a bit before, so I'm not a total novice - but there's a lot more I could learn, and I'm certainly not the best teacher I could be.
I really love my kids, and that helps. There are very few who I don't love, and even them, I want to love them at least a little. My company doesn't provide much training or support, so I'm mostly winging this, going on instincts, and trying as much as I can to relate to the kids and teach them in a way that is fun and intuitive.
One of my most popular kids' songs right now is "Shake your sillies", a song with lots of body movement and dancing around. The little ones especially love it, in the 2-5 age group. Today, Mutsuki and Tomoka came into class grinning, and as their mom left, they ran toward the stereo, saying, cd! sing! I asked them - "do you want to sing a song?", and Tomoka threw her arms around my knees and looked up at me, shouting, "the wiggle one!" How could I refuse? So we shook our sillies and wiggled our wobbles away. Singing is great, and for the kids who don't have inhibitions about it, it's a wonderful way to learn, especially songs that are instructive.
Little kids age fast - right at the beginning of conciousness, it seems that they develop at lightning speed. On the other end, we have the elderly, people like my grandparents and the old fart musicians, fading with equally alarming rapidity. But I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle: slowly inching older, but not showing change day to day, hour to hour any more. Change feels almost imperceptible right now. I crave having these two kinds of people around me as a shock to the system, reminding me both of the potentiality of life and the fullness of life lived long. Show me the way, wee ones and grannies - I'm following you.