Saturday, March 26, 2011

Answering the Call

Notable Accomplishments 
 ...and the journey along the way.. 

Answering the Call
  by Jeannie Castillo

                  I’ve always believed that being a Kindermusik educator is a calling, a
                     purpose, a mission that every educator is called to . . . for one particular
  reason or another, and each of us receives that calling in a special and
  particular way.

  My calling came over 11 years ago, when my first son, Jamie was born
  into the world, and into my heart, with Down Syndrome.  When the
  doctors first nestled Jamie into my arms and explained his special
  needs to my husband and me, I knew I would never be the same.  What
  I didn’t know at the time though, and which I now know with no 
  uncertainty is that my life is better . . . blessed . . . and so much more 
  beautiful, because of him.

I knew -- as the doctors told me when he was born -- I would need to teach Jamie every step of
the way growing up, to help him reach his full potential.  (This in fact went on to become one of
my main reasons for eventually becoming a Kindermusik educator).  What I didn’t know at the
time, is that Jamie would go on to teach me so many more important lessons along the way . . .
to be a better mother, a patient teacher, and ignite in me a genuine passion for connecting with
other children and parents through another one of my passions, music.

Because of Jamie, I have been inspired to
change careers from a fast-paced corporate life
to running my own business that includes and
celebrates families, parenthood, and being a
child.  Because of Jamie, I have discovered that
teaching Kindermusik, and singing, dancing, and
being with children every day is one of my most
favorite things to do, no doubt the best job in the
world.  Because of Jamie, I have learned to
celebrate and appreciate every moment and life
experience for what is – an invitation to grow
and become better, no matter what.

Now, as I go into what will soon be 10 years
teaching Kindermusik, I give thanks for the
many children and families whom I have been
privileged to teach, as well as the “kindred-
spirits” and great friends and educators in
Kindermusik (Ally being one of them! ) whom I
have been blessed to meet along the way, and I
am humbled and grateful for the gift of Jamie . . .
my son, who so many years ago (probably even
to the beginning of time) was destined to be
mine -- to change me, and to change the world
for the better.

Thank you Ally – and thank you Bryann! – for being an inspiration to me and my family with your great heart for teaching.  You and your passion make me believe in the possibility of all things, and my faith and hope for the future is only strengthened.  My prayer is that as we all continue our shared work in Kindermusik, we can go on to inspire even more families, parents, and children of all abilities to live and love life fully.

I believe that Kindermusik’s new Digital Teacher’s Guides, and the
wonderful Kindermusik for Every Child initiative, will help be the
catalyst to make this dream possible.

In thinking about my own journey with Jamie, I wanted to share a
poem which I was inspired to write for him many years ago.  I hope
that it will serve as inspiration to any parents who may come into
our Kindermusik classrooms in need of some strength and support
for their children with special needs.  I also hope it may possibly
inspire other educator friends to participate and contribute to the
Kindermusik for Every Child project.  Together, I believe that all our
hearts and spirits are meant to join as one to help uplift and inspire
our children – and each other – to shine brightly, and to sing and
dance joyfully.

Thank you Kindermusik for bringing all of us together for what truly is important work – a calling to teach, and learn, from the heart. ♥

~ Jeannie Castillo is the Distributor for Kindermusik in the Philippines, as well as Director for her
Maestro program Kindermusik with Teacher Jeannie & Company, proudly among the top 1% of
Kindermusik programs worldwide.

God’s Whisper
~ A poem by Jeannie Castillo for her son, Jamie ~

When you came, I heard God whisper,
“Take care of this little one.
He’s one of my special spirits
Accept him as your son.

He may need some extra attention
Some added patience and some time
But he’ll grow into a beautiful person
With your love, he’ll be just fine.

You’ll see that he will surprise you
He’ll amaze you with his soul
He’ll bring you joy and endless wonder
In his way, he’ll make you whole.

For every smile will be a miracle
Each new step, a victory
His growth will be blessed and meaningful
His life is a gift from Me.

This angel is your reminder
Of what is pure and what is true
It’s not what the world says that matters
What matters is all up to you.

You are the one who will teach him
That he is perfect in My eyes
With Me, he can move mountains
He can do anything, he need only try.

For this child has a magnificent spirit
He was meant to do wonderful things
His life has a special mission
I will raise him on eagle’s wings

To soar high and live life fully
To sing and laugh and love
So you must raise him with warmth and tenderness,
With Me, you’ll have enough.

Now always remember this message,
Be brave and strong and true
Know that I am with you
Remember that I chose you.

I chose you for this mission.
This is your gift to Me.
Take care of him well and let him be loved,
For when you love him . . .  you love Me.”


November 2001
© R.H. Castillo

"Surround yourself with people who believe in you"
  -Brian Koslow

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