Melody and Rhythm

Sometimes in the mundane haze of daily routines there is a spark. Thursday after work I drove to pick up my daughter. I was excited to see Maya. She had spent two nights in a row with my mom as a solution to two extremely long nights at work for me. After a kiss and a hug, we were in the car driving home. I quickly fell into my normal routine of asking questions about her school day. I asked her my standard question, “What was the best thing you learned today?” There was some silence and I was trying to think of another question when all of sudden the silence was broken with…

“Little Sally Water sitting in a saucer,

Rise Sally, rise Sally, wipe away your tears, Sally

Turn to the east, Sally, Turn to the west, Sally

Turn to the one that you love the best!”

When she finished she said, “Singing about Little Sally was the best thing Mama. I was working on my melody and rhythm.”

During the minute that Maya sang I was able to synthesize the heaviness of the week filled with RIF notices, teacher reassignments, position questions, and that constant feeling that I’m not sure what my life’s work is trying to accomplish. Yet, in that minute of melody and rhythm I was reminded that school is about learning. It’s about loving what you learn. It’s about celebrating the best moments in your day can be about lyrics.

I also had a feeling of gratitude. I am grateful that my daughter has music class twice a week. I’m grateful that she attends a school that values a well rounded education. I’m grateful that her school is in a district that hasn’t slashed her fine arts education.

I’m grateful that the next day when the realities of being an Arizona public school teacher returned, I was able to think about melody and rhythm, and press on.


Daniela A. Robles

Daniela A. Robles

Phoenix, Arizona

I am a teacher and beginning my fourteenth year of teaching in Arizona’s public schools. The greatest lessons I learned were from teaching first grade for ten years. My inspirations stem from these past few years where my classroom has ranged from the Intervention Room to the Coaches’ Room.

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