Last night I went to my eight year old daughter’s school winter concert. Mandatory for all parents to sit though every year whether their daughter is the littlest snowflake out in front or the one stuck in the last row with a snowflake headband over their eyes.
The concert started out without incident. Recorders and xylophones played by grade four students accompanying sweet little kindergarten voices singing about Papa Noel. Then a group of grade one to four students told the story of snowflakes and snirt (snow mixed with dirt). Parents jostling for the best position to video their little darling from so that they can show grandparents on Christmas Day.
It’s usually about this time that we, as parents, are checking our watches wondering how much longer we can sit on the, oh so comfortable, bleachers without needing a trip to the chiropractor the next day. Surely it can’t be much longer.
The last group of kids to go was the grade seven class. They were going to sing a carol both in English and French. Is started with two of the students out front with microphones and the rest of the students backing them up. As they finished their solos two more student came down to do theirs.
It was a few minutes in and a boy in a white shirt started to walk down to the mic.
As he walked down he motioned to the music teacher that he needed the words…..but there was no time and he missed his cue.
The next two students had already started to come down to take their places and the boy in the white shirt walked back to his spot and hung his head. You could feel his disappointment in every corner of the auditorium.
The song went on and still he hung his head. His buddy next to him patted him on the back in encouragement as the song ended.
As we politely applauded the music director went over to the boy and said something to him. No response. Again he asked him and he finally shrugged his shoulders. The director took the mic.
“I am so incredibly proud of this grade seven class. It takes so much courage to step out front and perform a solo. Sometimes you get a second chance so we are going to try that one again if it’s all right with you.”
So the students took their places again and the music director gave the cue to start. This time the boy in the white shirt gave himself extra time to get down to the mic and find his spot on the song sheet. We all held our breath.
He started to sing his solo and……nailed it. Everyone in the auditorium was clapping wildly and most of us were wiping tears away.
That moment happened because of a great teacher. A teacher who knew his students and knew what they were capable of. The boy in the white shirt will never forget his last elementary school winter concert and neither will we.
The Best Thing in Life is a teacher who will never give up on your kids.