Today we piled 43 fifth graders and six staff on a bus on our way back from a field trip. After we were loaded up, Rhonda the driver asked if we were ready, then turned on the bus and the music. Here’s the thing: she turned on the kids’ music; the songs to which they knew all the lyrics. Instead of screaming, poking and being shushed, they all sang the whole way back while smiling ear to ear. The kids were happy and safe and the teachers were calm and relieved. Even Rhonda was singing along. When the ride was over, I thanked her profusely. She said, “all my rides are like this.” I thought, “This woman has it nailed! She knows what true engagement looks like on the road.” I thanked her again, called her boss, and spent the rest of the day humming to the happy tunes in my head.
What do you do when you meet a master of engagement?