We have a new friend in music class this year, and he is making quite a splash!
This week, my K, 1st, and 2nd-grade classes have been meeting Freddie the Frog. Freddie is a cute, green hand puppet who lives on Treble Clef Island. Books, songs, and lessons teaching basic music concepts accompany this sweet puppet. Even though I am excited about using these new teaching materials, it definitely takes me out of my comfort zone. Honestly, I had doubts about whether or not the students would buy in, or if I could convincingly utilize a puppet.
First-graders helped ease my uncertainties. After telling students I wanted to introduce them to a special friend, Freddie suddenly appeared on my arm. I explained that he was shy, afraid the kids would not like him. Their sweet faces showed great concern as they quickly reassured Freddie that they did indeed like him. We then learned a new song, and students used animal hand puppets to “sing” their new song to Freddie. Oh my goodness…what a site!
Almost forgot to mention, I’m the only one who can hear Freddie speak. He whispers in my ear, I relay his messages, and students giggle.
Fast forward…Freddie needed to rest while we listened to a recording of one of his adventures. On the recording, the students would finally hear Freddie’s voice. His singing voice is a little silly and high-pitched, and a couple of students chuckled as they listened. Then I overheard one little girl (pointing toward the puppet) say, “Don’t make fun of Freddie. He can hear us!”
Such innocence and imagination. And it did not stop there. A few moments later, as students were gathering supplies to color a picture of Freddie’s room, the same little girl snuck over to where he was resting. She walked right up to him, serious little face, and said, “I like your room, Freddie.” Cuteness overload.
As class time was wrapping up there were many questions-can I show Freddie my picture? Can we tell him goodbye? Can I give him a hug? So, Freddie accompanied me to the back of the room and hugged each of his new friends as they walked out the door.
I started thinking…why is it the older we get, the less we use our imaginations in creative ways? Obviously, we must grow up and be responsible adults. We are quite capable of conjuring all kinds of “what if” situations, causing much worry and fret. I’ve certainly been guilty. Often times we’ve had the experiences to back up our fears.
There is no simple solution to this adulthood dilemma. Maybe if we took a moment to remember what it was like to be a kid…not an easy task I know. After all, part of our job as parents and teachers is to help kids cope when bad things do happen. But wouldn’t it be worth it to experience that innocence of imagination once again?
Even if it was only for five minutes…