A little over three years ago, I decided to make a change and embarked upon a career in education. I started with my own education- beginning my masters in early 2013; and I immediately fell in love. Being back in the classroom, learning, and interacting with both educators and little ones inspired me daily.
By the end of that year, I had landed a job in an elementary school. With virtually no practical experience, I learned on the job daily. Most of it came naturally to me, and I quickly found my niche in the upper grades. I felt comfortable in this upper-elementary world- consisting of interesting content and little humans that I could easily relate to.
When I would chat with co-workers and friends, they were always surprised by my gravitation- insisting that lower grades were more fun, and maybe "easier" to teach. For me, however, I found it terrifying. The reason why summed up in one word: singing.
The very first time I substituted a Kindergarten class, I learned quickly that I have stage fright. And even an audience of five year olds that occasionally may still wet their pants will make me red in the face during Good Morning songs.
I avoided subbing in these classrooms throughout the year for this very reason; but when I was in them, I would always take note of those sweet songs the kids loved to sing each morning.
And it's these very songs that would be the first I'd sing to Maddie.
During an early morning diaper change that she found particularly upsetting, I instinctively started cooing the "Hello" song from that very Kindergarten classroom. She was instantly soothed, and it became part of our daily routine. My sisters still sing it to her whenever they see her; sometimes I even catch them humming it to themselves. And for me, it will forever be a reminder of those first days of motherhood.
Singing is now part of our everyday. I have no shame. I know I don't sound great; and I don't aspire to. I sing to calm my daughter. I sing to make her smile. I sing to bond with my family- no matter what it might sound like.
I wonder if that scared substitute teacher from three years ago would still have such stage fright?
I'd say probably not.
While I'll always love those elementary songs, here are a few modern Lullabies I love singing to MM: