February 2, 2021: I was doodling on my guitar, wanting to write a song, but per usual I was absent any lyrics. My phone buzzed, a text from a former student turned dear friend and teaching colleague, Samantha Sy. She also included our teacher-friend, David Koehn. In her usual all-lower-case: "some ramblings from journaling last night. happy tuesday you guys!"
An hour later, we had It Was Love.
What feels like a lifetime ago, Sam came to my house each week for violin lessons, and David was her high school orchestra teacher. She babysat my oldest, and he's 15 now. Music was her escape, a place where she could feel worth, something that was just hers to understand amidst the chaos. Fast forward to a seasoned teacher earning her master's degree in education, and Sam shared this incredible perspective (pictured) that I invite you to read. She captures the power of her teachers, or any good teacher for that matter. We can never know the impact, except that we affect eternity, "to rise, be more, to become...and pass on to the future."
This became a love song for teachers, with the lyrics centered on three of the four loves: Philia - love of brother or friend, Storge - family and empathy love, and Agape - unconditional love. Certainly, these loves ebb and flow differently between each student and teacher, but they remain at the heart of every effective educator. Otherwise, there's no possible way we could keep doing it – this incredibly special, challenging, hilarious, heartbreaking, creative, and most uplifting profession.
A small production note worth pointing out – the violins begin in unison. Alone. Then a duet, and steadily friends join, crescendoing through the song into a full string orchestra. I'll admit, I'm not that clever. It was an accident, but one heck of an analogy, right?
Please, reach out to the teachers you've been thinking of as you read this, and thank them and their families. It was love.