Thursday, May 22, 2008

School Memory Number One

My first school memory is in kindergarten. We sat on a colorful carpet for music time and our music teacher Mr. Kermit Wells was attempting to teach us rhythm. He taught music class K-6 Grades for the entire district. To help teach us the song they drew out the lyrics in pictures. We were little, we couldn't read. I loved music time. Some of the kids would roll around on the carpet and drool. I sat in perfect Indian style facing Mr. Wells with his keyboard in his lap. I was in my hot pink t-shirt with the teddy bear holding gold heart shaped balloons. How can I possibly remember that detail? The teacher was playing and wanted us to clap along. I clapped. I knew where the claps went without thinking. The other kids were lost. They had no idea. Then Mr. Wells stopped and said. "None of you are getting this right. I want you to watch the teacher (our regular class teacher whose name I don't recall) or you right there. You've got it right. Raise your hand so everybody can watch you" He pointed at me! Out of all the kids in the class he pointed me! I was so proud of myself. Take that freak kid that knows how to multiply already. You don't know how to clap properly and I do. Yay for me.

I have wondered several times throughout my life why this memory stands out to me so clearly. I remember what I was wearing. I know I was facing north when it happened. I remember a lot about that teacher but then again I did see him once a week for seven years. I wonder if I was already musically inclined or if that small bit of positive reinforcement nudged me in that direction. It's really amazing what a teacher is capable of in a child's life in just a brief passing moment. Something adults should remember.

14 comments:

Dana said...

I have a 6th grade teacher who made a significant, positive impact on my life. A few years ago I sent him and email telling him exactly that!

Jay said...

"Take that freak kid that knows how to multiply already. You don't know how to clap properly and I do. Yay for me. hahahaha that made laugh. ;-)

You probably remember it because you got singled out in front of everybody for something good. Unlike me, who used to be the example of what NOT to do in music time.

I hate that most elementary schools eliminated music time and dumped their music teachers over the years. Kids need exposure to music and the arts.

Karen said...

That is a really great memory. Wouldn't suck if one of your first school memories was negative?

Reb said...

What a great memory and yes, you would have been born with it.

Doc said...

That is a great memory... I have some like this too.

gr said...

I kinda want to learn drums and drumming, but I think my ear and sense of rhythm would be worse than the other little kids in your class!

Leighann said...

That's a great memory, thanks for sharing it!

furiousBall said...

if i was a music teacher and my last name was Kermit, I so would be teaching the kids how to play "Why Are There So Many Songs About Rainbows"

Knight said...

Dana- I have thought about contacting a few people like that but have had a lot of trouble. I can't seem to find my old voice teacher and I'm afraid she might have died.

Jay- Oh, I was singled out for bad things to. Just a few years later. I was lucky that my distract had so many art and music programs. I feel very sorry for kids who don't get that experience. Coloring with mom isn't the same.

Karen- Yes it would suck. I'm glad it didn't happen that way.

Knight said...

Reb- I like to think that I was born with it.

Doc- You should share them!

GR- I am picturing you trying to learn drums but rolling around and drooling at the same time. I'm sure you could do it.

Leighann- Thanks. Do you have any to share?

Furiousball- Uh, you kind of are a music teacher aren't you? His first name was Kermit and I remember he would sing really high falsetto and turn bright red. Awkward! I didn't know of the rainbow connection until a few years ago.

Farmer*swife said...

This was a great cumfie-cosie story! I had a couple of teachers like that. They are the best!!!

I remember my elementary school Science teacher, Mrs. Hurta. She had all types of animals and reptiles, etc. Even hissing cockroaches. (These were clean one and you could hold them and they would hiss, like a cat purring).

You would never, ever, ever catch me doing that now...I don't care if it was a singing cockroach. :-x

She also had lots of dead things and animals from the womb preserved in formaldehyde jars...

She was a great teacher though.

Edge said...

My wife is a kindergarten teacher and K is nothing like that any more. Its all day and lots of learning. And she's good .. real good at it. I remember my K teacher Mrs. Montgomery. I think that's where I got my fondness for red heads.

~Jef

Jo said...

I love hearing about the impact great teachers have...what a sweet memory! I'm sure you have an "ear"...it runs in my family & you can usually tell who has it before the tots know their alphabet. Still, I'll bet Mr. Wells planted the seed for a musical passion & made you feel like the sky's the limit.

Er, I was that freak kid LOL But I knew how to clap!

GMEyster said...

Fantastic! I am sure you were already musically inclined. I believe that some people just "get it"....