Last night we attended my 7th grade stepdaughter's final choir concert of the school year. It was a beautiful night outside and little did we know it would be just as beautiful of a night inside too.

It is not hard to find criticism of schools these days. The complaints we parents make are plenty. From homework either being too much {they're burdening the kids} or too little {they aren't teaching them responsibility} to the lunches that are too healthy {kids are hungry because they don't like the food} or not healthy enough {school lunch is junk}. There's more. There's article upon article about what's wrong with this or that or the other thing relating to schools and education.

But there is also much that is right.

Last night's choir concert gave me, and the other 300 plus parents who sat inside the St. Michael-Albertville High School Performing Arts Center, a huge glimpse of that.


{Photo cred: Angela Peterson, St. Michael.}

Mrs. Tina Lajko, the choir director at St. Michael-Albertville Middle School East, is one of those teachers. One of those teachers who cares a whole lot, not just in her words and speech but in action. The love she has for the job she is doing is incredible.

It takes a special person to teach and love and connect with middle schoolers for seven hours every day. And I'll be honest, I don't know if I'd be up for that job but the ones who are in the trenches with Lajko and do it each and every day, we've pretty much hit the jackpot, not a bad one in the bunch. We are so grateful. Did I mention they spend 7 hours a day with middle schoolers? SAINTS.

Lajko made a deal with her choir students this year. During the student council food drive she told the students that if the choir students donated more than 500 non perishable food items to the food drive, she would sing a solo at the spring concert. The students blew her away and showed up with 1377 items for the Hanover Food Shelf. So it was time for Lajko to make good on her end of the deal.

As of a week ago she didn't know what she was going to sing and the students were asking and after being inspired by a 7th grade student who showed up and sang a song she wrote in front of the class, Lajko decided to write her own song and perform it for the concert.

As she spoke before she introduced her song she talked about how while she is the teacher her students inspire her and teach her everyday and what an honor it is to work with them.



Her song encouraged students to be themselves, to discover who it is they want to be and not to look at what everyone else has or is or is doing. Her song spoke directly to middle schoolers hearts. To "BE YOU" she sang. In a time and at an age when students are struggling over fitting in and finding their people and being themselves, she couldn't have sung a truer message and I'm fairly certain I speak for every parent in that auditorium. Forever grateful that one of mine have been gifted the blessing that has been Mrs. Tina Lajko.

{For mobile edition here's a link to the video:}

Older Post

Kidding Around: Smart Play

Newer Post

Adjusting To Summer Break