I went to a charity concert this past Friday night called, Blank Check Project. It was a music extravaganza organized by an elementary school music teacher who works in a district north of Chicago. The concert was in a small town, of about 5,000 people, 92 miles south of Chicago. This teacher grew up in this very small town.
As I sat in the audience that night it struck me that this importance we’ve placed on teachers as writers is of equal importance with all teachers. I know….you guys have already figured this out – it’s taken me longer! Anyway, I watched as three music teachers played their hearts out with their friends on that stage. They were music teachers that played. They did the same things they expected of their students. They watched intently as their maestro, a fellow musician, directed them. They dutifully turned the sheets of music that stood perched in front of them, they moved forward to play their solos, and they bowed to the audience after each performance.
On the inside, I was guessing that these teachers were feeling emotions very much like those of their students on concert day. Butterflies, nerves, excitement, adrenalin. In fact, these teachers could connect to everything their students experience related to playing an instrument with other musicians on concert day because they live it too – on a regular basis!
A teacher practicing the craft that they are teaching to others is important, most definitely. However, what struck me as more important was the idea that the craft that these teachers teach others – is their passion. That’s what translates to students. I understand that we can’t have a passion for every single subject we teach. But, we can convey our passion for learning. Our excitement for discovering new things. Our drive to know more about the world around us. And, when it comes to the music teacher….I could see these three music teachers up on that stage Friday night doing what they LOVE to do. Lucky teachers. Lucky students.