A digression from my vacation into imaginary life paths (not taken, which I feel I should state, again, because I keep getting emails asking me when I quit teaching and opened a bakery, which I did not do)…
I have spent enough time in education to have come across many adults who work well with kids – who intuit their needs and meet them where they are. I could go on and on about the countless teachers and coaches and mentors who reach kids in amazing ways that can’t be mimicked or taught. Sometimes, though, I encounter someone who is one of those people I think of as magic, or a sort of angel…and this from one of the least conventionally spiritual people you’ll ever meet.
My son takes guitar lessons, bass guitar lessons to be precise. His teacher is a professional musician who supplements his income teaching (and painting houses, and probably a bunch of other ways that I don’t know about because he’s just that kind of dude). Yesterday was the first annual Guitar Show, performed by all of the students who take lessons from my son’s teacher, complete with back up musicians and technical support from local pros.
I have written before about my fascination with the concept of flow and how much I love it when people get all wrapped up in what they love to do, but I will tell you what…there is nothing so beautiful as the face of a child feeling proud of himself (or herself). And yesterday at this guitar show, there was beauty all over the damn place. For the most part, and I include my own kid in this description, these kids looked a little, um, shall we say, gobsmacked, when they got up on stage in front of 150 people to perform, but within minutes and with the exuberant encouragement of their beloved teacher, they relaxed into their rocker roles with style and grace.
The absolute best part, though? Not the great music, not the sense of accomplishment, not the glow from proud parents and friends, but the unmistakable joy radiating from this teacher. I don’t know the last time I saw someone so deeply invested in his people and their learning and their own success. He made magic, and every person in that room felt it. He kept thanking us for coming, but he got it all backwards. We were so lucky to be there.