I haven’t really told the children about my departure at the end of the year because it is a difficult topic to discuss and it’s a little too far off for that. Plus, I don’t want to spend the REST of the year talking about it.
However, my plan of waiting until later was completely shaken when a first grader (we’ll call him J) raised his hand and asked with utter concern in his voice and face, “Miss C, are you fired?”
No use getting out of that one. Here is the gist of what I said.
“Well, J….No, I’m not fired. The school district can’t afford to pay my salary and so there will be no elementary music next year and I’m going to have to get another job. (To all the students) As some of you may have heard, the schools here in ______ are having some money problems and, because of that, they have to do what’s called a lay-off of many teachers. I am one of those teachers because they have decided to cut music at all the elementary schools.”
Some of them were concerned. Some of them looked at me like what I was saying was completely over their heads which very well may be as 7-year-olds have no concept of jobs, money, and laws….okay, they may have a basic concept but it’s still a hard thing to explain on their level.
The discussion that followed my answer to J’s question went like this:
“What are they going to do with this classroom?”
“I don’t know. Maybe turn it into a regular classroom.”
“Well, who would teach in here?”
“I don’t know.”
“They should turn it into a haunted house!”
“Or a movie theatre….”
“We’ll just see when that time comes. For now, let’s just get back to class and enjoy the music time we have left.”
Well, there you have it…..1st graders concerns in regards to no longer having elementary music.