A funny thing happened today with the Youth Choir. I had planned on using hand chimes to read rhythms, but when they came in the room and saw the colorful Boomwhackers and desk bells, that was the end of that! They wanted to play the “fun” instruments. Regular choir bells meant serious music, while the colorful instruments meant playful and whimsical. I laughed to myself. I forget that kids of all ages enjoy using tools that look like toys, even if they are not.
Fun. Dictionary.com defines it as “1. Something that provides mirth or amusement and 2. Enjoyment or playfulness” How often are we amused in our lives? Or playful, for that matter? I would imagine less so as we get older, but as teachers we are around it all of the time. This is one of the greater benefits to our job! Most of our students (hopefully) are filled with joy and laughter. It is hard not to have it rub off a bit. How many times have I actually stopped teaching and started laughing out loud because of what a student said or did? Too many times to remember. Thank goodness.
So what do we do with this? First is to remember to enjoy our lives and the people in it, but second, it is imperative that we keep the “fun” in our classrooms. I know that maintaining control is always in that back of our minds, especially if we are in a tough situation, but showing our students that we are full of joy and laughter too comes in handy. It is what helps when things do get tough. We are no longer just a disciplinarian, but someone who is looking out for them: an important distinction. Third, bring out the Boomwhackers, desk bells and all other colorful “whimsical” looking tools out there for all of your classes, not just for the younger kids….the older kids like to play too!