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What a Beginning!

Title – What a Beginning!

By – Su-Lin

I was three weeks into my student teaching semester and already discouraged. I didn’t think I was getting through to any of the students. They were so attached to the band director and I felt like an intruder. We were preparing our middle school students for their instrumental solo and ensemble festival performances. Upon arriving at the site, I discover that some students’ parents did not make it on time and some students had forgotten their music. On top of that an irate mother had just finished yelling at me in regards to her daughter’s performance (the director had told the child that she was ineligible for performance). Well, I’m standing in a cafeteria of a school I had never been to, while simultaneously supervising my 60 children. However, there were also about 300 other children from other schools there too. Being middle school age students, they were running around and causing all kinds of trouble. The director was no where to be found and I did not have a schedule of performances. About 45 minutes into this ordeal, I was ready to go and change my major. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around quickly and getting ready for another trauma, I was looking at the kindest face I had seen since we left the school that morning. She explained to me that she was the mother of one of my sixth grade clarinet students. She was telling me about how her daughter adored me since I played clarinet. She proceeds to tell me that her daughter had wanted to quit band after Christmas, but they would not let her. The mother tells me a story about how I had told her little girl to hold her instrument a certain way and she could play the notes she was squeaking on. Well, that did the trick and she was playing better than ever! The mother said that her daughter came running off the bus yelling about how great I was and she had changed her mind about band. The whole time the mother is telling me this story I was about to start crying. That mother unknowingly gave me a renewed confidence and a feeling that I was reaching at least one child. Her child. It’s three years later and I still teach that child clarinet lessons. She’ll start high school in the fall and she’s still in band.

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