I shouldn’t be that surprised that the two classes in the same year group with the same sort of mixture of children and lovely, experienced class teachers should be so different. But I am having to think hard about these classes…
Up to now I have just been teaching more-or-less the same lesson to the two classes, which follow each other in the afternoon. However, after about eight weeks the differences are beginning to show, and one class is definitely further along than the other.
I haven’t managed to put my finger on the reason for this difference.
Maybe I’m running out of steam part way through the second class, and teaching with less energy and pace? Or maybe it is because the first class comes in straight from play, and the second class has had an hour of academic-style teaching before their music lesson.
Perhaps it is the time of day? The last lesson of the afternoon is notorious for a dip in energy levels for teachers and children alike.
Or has the first class simply used up all the air in the music room, so that it is too stuffy and too warm for the second class? There’s not much I can do about that, as it is an internal room with no outside walls, and air conditioning doesn’t seem to be happening.
Whatever the reason, I need to re-think the lessons from now on. It is not fair to teach identical songs and pieces to both classes if the different rates of progress are going to become glaringly obvious to everyone, especially to the children. If each class has their own programme, then they can’t make direct comparisons with each other. The important thing is that both classes learn and play and perform with enthusiasm and excellence even though they are on parallel, rather than the same, pathways.
So, as soon as I can, I’ll be surreptitiously introducing different songs and pieces to the classes. Meanwhile, I’ll devise class-specific performances with the material I’ve been using up to now, so that all the children in both classes will get to experience the satisfaction of making good music together.