Want a lift? Go to a kindergarten concert

(This Jim’s Jottings was first published on May 17, 2006)
There they stand. Twenty seven 5 and 6-year-olds, squirming and waving (except for our Haley and Trevor who barely moved, including their lips) until the teacher puts a finger to her mouth.
Then, total silence. Total stillness. I should have had that control over our kids at that age, or any age.
Most of the time our twin grandchildren are active. Sometimes boisterous. But before this small audience of kinfolk they were dormant. They stood next to each other on the top row of the 3-row riser, and occasionally we’d see them elbow each other.
She faced him instead of the teacher or audience, I think in anticipation for an opening to slug him. He stood straight forward doing facial expressions, rolling his eyes upward while wearing a frowned face. There was no way of knowing if either sang the songs, though once in a while we’d see a lip move.
It was the same whether it was an upbeat song or interpretive diddy, like doing the Chicken, soaring a kite or imitating McDonald’s arches while singing.
Haley and Trevor had none of that, rarely showing arms above the person’s head in front of them. I realize my perspective is different from yours, but their parents and I may have enjoyed their lack of participation as much as parents of the very expressive boys and girls.
There were extenuated mouth openings, wide and narrow eye movements, nervous bodies and semi-still and some who really got into songs . . . almost like performers at Detroit Pistons basketball games.
Then the teacher, Peggy Mueller, called for them to come down from the stands and sing and dance to a Highland Reel. Our grandkids got into that.
They smiled broadly for the only time. They joined the others in the kicks with hands on hips, they hooked arms with their partners and they proved their stoic appearance on the risers was very temporary.
During this part of the performance I glanced at the teacher, ‘cause it appeared none of the 27 were watching her. Her face had such a wide smile it appeared she was enjoying the dance as much as the students.
When it ended, I purposely watched Mrs. Mueller collect her discs, etc. No one approached her. A good many years ago, at a Dale Carnegie speaking course, the instructor said, always seek out the speaker and thank them.
This lady did a great job in teaching the many songs, discipline, and showing she loves her job.
Everyone there had to be impressed and satisfied with her work. All should have given her a pat on the back.
There are great teachers in all schools and in all subjects. You know that. When the opportunity is there, take time to say, “Thank you.”

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