By Susan Salidor
The school year is winding down and that means I have to say goodbye to my preschoolers, who number just over 350 each week. Saying goodbye in the early childhood classroom is its own unique song and dance, if you will. During the last few weeks of class I like to review some favorites of the past year AND let my students know how much I’ve enjoyed our time together. I find that I am often drawn to Red Grammar’s “I Think You’re Wonderful” (from his Teaching Peace CD) for an end of the year song, a tune that perfectly balances sentiment, message and melody.
Of course it’s always interesting to learn which songs made the biggest impression among my students. With a little musical prodding from me, young children will recall not all the words of a favorite song but how they felt about a certain song. Silly songs and songs with dance movements are often remembered enthusiastically, perhaps because they are among the most fun. My husband, a public school teacher with over 25 years under his belt, says this is how most of us remember our own experiences in school – not what we learned but how a teacher made us feel.
Each year I’m made aware of the place of honor I inhabit in a young person’s life, even as I accept how little I might be remembered in the years following preschool and kindergarten. I know I won’t soon forget how my students made me feel during the 2011-2012 school year, and I’m grateful.
Susan Salidor is a board member of CMN.