Saying a Proper Good-bye

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.


2 comments

  1. It’s a special world that involves preschoolers and those of us who care for them. I had the pleasure last week of completing a video project I’d helped to make, “A Day without Child Care” for our Local Child Care Planning Council and the Office of Education. It’s a humorous take on a serious subject. The song at the end is “We All Sing with the Same Voice” from one of my CDs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGpEXKgU20A&feature=g-all-u

  2. Susan – you put it so eloquently – “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.” Reading your words brought a tear to my eyes, remembering my experience teaching music with young children, and having to say goodbye at the end of every school year. Bittersweet, but a part of the circle of life.

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