Last spring on Twitter a friend mentioned this musical sensation that had overtaken the nation. I knew that Hamilton the Musical had visited my home state of NC and it was next to impossible to get tickets as it sold out so quickly! Lin-Manuel Miranda created a masterpiece!!!
After a conversation with a group of students in the media center, I started listening to the soundtrack for Hamilton and fell in love. After listening to the soundtrack countless times, I started to quote the songs in normal conversation… well, as normal as my conversations usually are.
I’ve found that Hamilton is the perfect music to listen to while I’m mowing the yard (I push mow our nearly 2 acres each week); by the time I get tired a song like Non-Stop would come on and I’d be pumped up ready to mow another few rounds!
So… as I was finishing up, I got to thinking about some of the songs and how they apply to education. There are subtle, and not-so-subtle, messages in each of the Hamilton songs that are lessons on life and, for educators, great lessons to apply to our learning environments.
Here’s Part 1 of Education According to Hamilton:
Aaron Burr, Sir – lyrics video
Two main parts of the song that stand out to me are below.
Talk Less. Smile More.
As educators we should do less talking. Let the students figure it out! I’ve heard it said that if we’re the ones exhausted at the end of the day and our students are running circles around us, we aren’t doing it right. Yes, we’ll be tired every day, but it shouldn’t be our throat hurting. It should be our feet and legs from walking around monitoring all the awesome that it going on in the classroom.
We should smile more. Beginning teachers are still being told in many places not to smile until Christmas. That’s the biggest load of junk I’ve heard. I’d say smile and smile freely!!! You can’t smile too much in your learning environment. Even when you’re showing “how serious you are” you can still smile while being serious. Sounds to me that Aaron Burr was onto something in his advice to Alexander Hamilton.
If you stand for nothing Burr, what’ll you fall for?
It’s so important that we, as educators, have a philosophy about our profession. What do we believe about what students can do, what teachers should do? What do you believe about feedback and grading? What do you believe about standardized testing? What about technology in the classroom and how it should be used? What are your core beliefs in education? If you stand for nothing, you’ll believe anything and everything you hear. Know what you stand for so you don’t fall for anything.
What lessons in education and in life do you find in Hamilton’s song “Aaron Burr, Sir”?
Stay tuned… more Hamilton songs coming soon!