Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Giving Voices to Stars

In case you missed in my myriad of tweets every Monday Night and Tuesday morning for the past few months, my former student, Matt McAndrew, has been a contestant on NBC's The Voice. Every Monday at school has been, "Matt McAndrew Monday!" and every Tuesday, students take out their phones as part of their Do Now to Vote for Matt. I am over the moon and so enthralled with Matt's performances.

I can't stop listening to Matt's duet with Adam Levine, "Lost Stars" nor reflecting on this whole crazy Matt McAndrew & The Voice craziness. Playing this video for my students today in room 5-1, I pointed at the spot where Matt used to sit in class and pointed at the screen showing Matt singing with Adam Levine. 

I am in awe and humbled as an educator. I cannot predict what my students will become. And sometimes, on a rare occasion, there is a glimmer where I can see the girl or "boy caught up in dreams and fantasies reaching for someone" he/she will be. But never would I have predicted what Matt has accomplished the past few months. Now, that doesn't mean I didn't believe he could do it... that means I didn't see it coming. I didn't recognize the glimmer or "lost star" back in 2005; I was too caught up then in the assignments & grades & rigor of education.

Thank you, Matt, for this gift of sharing your talent with all of us, for reminding me to look for the glimmer and the "lost stars". All I can do is be a teacher on a daily basis who will give students the skills and support to do whatever they want to do whenever they find their calling. No test score or homework assignment will ever determine the worth of the students in class. Thank you to all the Southern Regional High School (and everywhere in the world) teachers who shine for our students.

Regardless of tonight's outcome, Matt McAndrew is a star.