Before Gracie and I started Grace Rose Farm, we both had many different careers. Gracie worked in marketing and I worked in the music industry. One of my favorite jobs was being a music teacher. I taught ensembles at schools as well as many private students. The beginning of every school year was always filled with so much joy, hope, and excitement. New instruments, new music, new friends, and reunions with old friends created such a positive and intoxicating atmosphere to be around. As someone longs out of school, these “simple” joys are what make teaching just as rewarding as watching students succeed.
School can also be a tough place for so many as they learn to deal with social pressures, academic challenges, friendships, individuality, developing communication skills, and just trying to find their own self in this world. Additionally, bullying and insecurities seem to have escalated since my time in school. I can only guess that social media plays a huge role in that equation. Heck, social media is well-known to create insecurities and depression in adults, just imagine the harm it can do in much less developed (and prepared) brains. Parents, please talk to your kids. You have an opportunity to teach them how everyone is different and more importantly, how it’s ok to be different. As the new school year brings a fresh start, encourage your child to take a step out of their comfort zone and befriend someone new. There is so much beauty in this world that can be found by branching out and forming new friendships. Challenge them to take a break from social media and to realize that there is much more meaningful life beyond the videos, pictures, and comments they find online.
I can only imagine how difficult it has been over the past couple of years for students around the world. From home learning to distance learning in school and not being able to sit with friends at lunch or in-between classes, it’s such a different environment than I ever experienced. As a music teacher, a band is such a community-driven experience and I commend music teachers today as they deal with these distancing challenges while trying to create beautiful music and inspire the kids. While children are balancing learning in these new surroundings with the pressures of a normal childhood, let’s also remember that it’s imperative that learning occurs at home, too. Not just reminding them to do homework but to help guide them and prepare them for the challenges life brings beyond school and as an adult, both personally and professionally.
I hope that the beginning-of-year excitement continues for everyone as they navigate the hardships throughout the school year. Maybe sit down with your child prior to school starting and discuss the feelings they’re currently experiencing. Separate the joyful and exciting feelings from the worrisome and anxious feelings and write them down. Depending on age level, draw them, photograph or take a video of certain things that make them happy, and when those eventual hardships occur remind them of these wonderful feelings. As a former teacher, it always brings me so much joy to hear from former students or to hear updates from their parents. Gracie and I wish all teachers, parents, and students a wonderful school year!
This week your purchases will help Grace Rose Farm give 10 teachers $100 each to buy supplies for their classrooms. In the future, we hope to purchase musical instruments for schools in districts that don’t have the resources for instruments. Your support is greatly appreciated!