Campbell and I finished up UBC Weekday this week. He will be going to kindergarten in the fall, but my feelings about that are another post for another day. Before I forget my feelings this week, I want to talk about my year in weekday as the music teacher for the younger preschoolers. I have been serving in weekday for 10 years now, since Cooper was a baby. I have done all kinds of jobs, from being an infant teacher, substitute, spiritual curriculum coordinator and even assistant director. I never imagined that I would lead music or even more that I would enjoy it as much as I did.
I had the joy of leading babies, ones and twos twice a week in singing some preschool classics, teaching them some new fun songs and most importantly, leading them in learning how to worship God. At the beginning of the year, most of the children looked at me like I was crazy with a mix of curiosity. As the year went on, they began to open up, would actually smile at me and pay attention for more than a few seconds. And as spring arrived, they finally joined me in singing and doing hand motions. I tried to incorporate sign language in the songs when I could, so I loved seeing them nod their fists with "Jesus loves me, yes, yes, yes" and making cat whiskers with "Hear God's World".
Some of my favorite memories were specific children that hopefully I will never forget. One sweet baby boy would come up to my lap in the middle of song and just give me a hug and say "bye bye" when I left. Another sweet baby girl who spend most of the fall crying would smile so big when I came in the spring and finally the last week was able to do some of the hand motions. In the one year old class, one sweet boy wanted to tell me how to do music. If he didn't like my song, he would take my hand and make me walk over to my CD player and then "tell me" with words I couldn't understand what song I needed to be doing. I could finally understand "bus" and "bubbles", two of his favorites.
One of my favorite classes was the two year olds, who would scream in delight when I came in. My friend Laura who does the older preschool music said its kind of like we are preschool rock stars. So cool! They loved to do the hand motions and sometimes would get so giggly they couldn't stop laughing while I'm trying to sing, which of course made me laugh. There were a few quiet girls that for most of the fall didn't sing with me, but their momma's would tell me they sang lots of the songs at home. One sweet little one is from China and couldn't speak English when school started, but this last week was screaming (and I do mean screaming) the words to some of the songs. One week we were singing songs about God's creation and I brought our Dream Light animal, turned off the classroom lights and sang songs about the stars. One little boy said "That was awesome!" which makes me laugh to hear a two year old say that.
I wish I could say their favorite songs were ones about God. But their favorite song was "Wheels on the Bus". If I dared not include it in my lesson plans, they would ask for it, so I learned to put it on the end of every CD I made just in case. And since it was always last, they learned it was the end of music, and would say "Bye bus. Bye Ms. Christy". I wish I could spell Christy the way they said it. I guess its a hard name to say. And some would blow me kisses as I left. I had a hard time on Thursday not tearing up when I was leaving. It was such a gift to me to lead them. Laura and I laugh because we should be the most creative and fun teachers, but we are two of the most Type A personalities there. But maybe that's why I loved it so much. It was out of my comfort zone and yet still used my spiritual gifts. So grateful for the opportunity!