Sunday, December 22, 2013

Inspiration from a Child

Earlier this month Bear Tavern Elementary School held its annual Winter Concert in our district's performing arts center. It is always a wonderful evening of music! The children practice from September to December to showcase their hard work and musical talent. I always enjoy the event because the children are so proud of themselves and what they have accomplished. This year there was a non-musical incident that made the concert very special for me.

As the band finished playing its numbers, the Early Morning Ensemble Choral group gathered in the hallway to enter the stage door and go on next. This year the group is fairly large and they decided to get t-shirts with their name, The Treble Makers, printed on them. Here is where the magic happens...

When the students came out into the hall, all of the children had their shirts on except one young lady. At that moment she realized that she had forgotten the shirt. Clearly the young lady was getting upset because she was going to go out on stage and be the only one without her choral shirt. I watched as the music teacher's wheels were turning and knew she was about to tell the group that they needed to support their friend by taking off all of their shirts and singing in the very nice dress clothes that they had on underneath. However, just as she was about to speak, John, one of our 5th grade boys, spoke up and said, "she can have mine." The entire group looked at him, including the teacher and me. Without a thought he took off the shirt and gave it to the young lady and said, "I'll be fine, you wear it."

This may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was a reminder that our parents and our teachers are doing something right. Hey, anyone of us could have forgotten our shirt, but it took a big heart and caring soul to be willing to sacrifice to help out a friend. This little incident truly made my night. At the end of the evening, I shook John's hand and told him that he was a rock-star tonight and I didn't just mean because of his singing. He smiled.

The news often points out the less than kind things that students do in schools; however, it is little stories of kindness, courage, and compassion that truly make up what happens in schools. This young man's actions were inspiring to me and I hope that they bring a little joy to your holiday season. Sometimes we need children to remind us of what is really important in life.
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