Issue 141: Welcome to The Jungle

Another week has flashed past – another round of recorder, ukulele, samba, djembe lessons, another set of class music lessons planned, taught and reflected upon.

Thinking over the lessons is such an important part of teaching. Reflecting on what went well, and what didn’t work.

Releasing a class of infants into the wide-open space of the school hall can be a bit like letting a genie out of a bottle. Suddenly they are everywhere, and regaining order can be a challenge. Why did that happen? What can I do to avoid it next time?

An afternoon of back-to-back samba lessons left me feeling as though I had been dragged through a hedge backwards. Why? Was it me? My choice of activities? Or perhaps the children were too tired – their whole afternoon had been a round of demanding physical activity and maybe the noise and energy of samba was just too much. It isn’t always the teacher’s fault if lessons go awry!

Then there are the lessons that worked like a dream. How did that happen? What did I do that made it all come together so sweetly? Can I capture the essence and save it for a rainy day?

One of my resolutions for this year was to keep a diary, and so far I have managed to write something every evening. Not only about teaching, or “another early night again, I’m SOoooo tired”, but things I have noticed in the day. It has seemed to slow the mad rush of time slightly. Today’s observations; unseasonable, but welcome, warm weather, and the golden brown of the leaves on the chestnut trees. The look on one boy’s face when I praised his singing and asked him to be a “Singing Leader”.

Yeah. It’s a good life!

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