Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Teacher Should Make Should Make A Parent Cry

Those pesky, weird, awesome, troublesome joy tears. Welcome and awkward they are. They come at the strangest moments. They come at weddings, naming ceremonies, and birthdays. Uninvited, they arrive just to remind oneself, “in so much exaggerated and repetitive ugliness, beauty is a constant.” Beauty is a thing which deserves the shedding of your soul’s elixir.

As a reluctant unschooler, I fight myself constantly about trusting my child to learn. I mean, really, if I can raise my African-American son to the age of 21 without him being tasered, trussed, hand-cuffed, billy-clubbed, jailed or killed dead, then….I might just be an okay parent. (And none of these items listed mean that you are not an okay parent. Because we all know what world in which we are living.) If I can raise him to be connected to the world around him, take action, think independently, offer his ideas and instigate change, well then I would be a kick ass parent. Time will out.

But, I got lucky. I happened to find - through a friend - the most perfect music teacher in the entire world. I sincerely could not imagine that the quintessential unschooling music teacher would salsa into our life. And she did. And today, she made me cry. Again.

What kind of teacher has the audacity to encourage a 6 year old to compose? What kind of teacher says, “That was interesting (banging on the piano.) Where are you taking that idea?” What kind of teacher rewards a student by making them de-code their favorite (shitty, Disney, flip frap) songs so they can internalize chord progressions? And then, discover that they have a preference for A major chords? Lunacy!

Something is right here…. So why does it feel so wrong? Because we were hit with rulers and rosary beads. Most of us were never given an opportunity to experience joy and knowledge simultaneously. And so I have decided. It is the teacher's job to make a parent cry joy tears. And THAT is the only kind of testing we need.


Karen James said...

I love this! Quite the contrast to the experience you mentioned you had on the piano. Perhaps the tears are healing too? I know mine have been :)

Christina Springer said...

Thanks, Karen. i know you have my CD....so you know my bizzarre relationship with music. The tears are healing! And joyful! And liberating!! And validating! And strangely illuminating.