As we head further into the holiday season, I have to remind myself to take a moment to reflect. It’s our third winter in our classrooms. There could not be more to do. But I’m taking a breath in, and releasing... and… honestly, I feel rushed. And I feel overwhelmed. But more than that, thankfully, I feel blessed. I knew my decision to start a foreign language program would be difficult to sustain in the beginning, and that sacrifices would be in order. While I do feel the weight of these things, I also feel fulfilled teaching children in the hopes of bringing more kindness and understanding of others into this world. I am happy to have found my path in life. There has been so much that I have experienced in these three, short years.
For instance, I have witnessed shy, little children become creative, intelligent and funny students with a true wonder about this world. Our preschool students, who once struggled in differentiating colors, leave school discerning them all in two languages. Even our youngest students, who have yet to see their third year of life, play games where second-language word replacement seamlessly enters activities. And with the release of our album last year, I have parents explaining that their children, many of who were once intimidated by “hola” or “nǐ hǎo,” now sing whole songs in Spanish and Chinese, without being prompted or coaxed. My students impress me every day with their wit and perception. I love that I have the opportunity to teach in different schools, because I get to witness the growth and development of so many students each year. With that being said, I want to make a few promises this coming year. These are not promises that I believe I cannot keep or that I haven’t kept, but like this busy holiday season, they are moments where we lose ourselves in the chaos. And as an educator, my students are of greatest importance to me, and I want to do my very best by them.
So, to my students…
First, I promise to come in every week with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. My dream is to open your heart and mind to other languages and cultures, and I know that the best way that I can achieve this is by keeping the learning process light and fun. So I will remember, even on the coldest, darkest, winter days, that I am happy and honored to be here on this Earth to teach you, and I promise to give you my all.
Second, I promise to be silly with you, even if I am not feeling so silly that day. I have learned that you are your happiest when you are dancing, singing and being goofy, and I promise to match that amazing energy. Your spirit, charisma and thirst for learning motivate me every day and I promise to help you maintain that beautiful zest for life.
And last, I promise to ensure all of our lessons are fun, stress-free, and light-hearted, like all of you. You inspire every vocabulary word, song, dance, game and adventure we put together in our program, and I promise to help you smile, laugh and learn with every class.
My little scholars and muses, you are everything to me and I hope that I can continue to help you grow as students and human beings for the rest of my life. I love you all!