Thursday, January 8, 2015

Group Dynamics

I had my first ukulele lesson after school today (thank you, Heidi!), and since it was way! tooooooooo cold to leave my uke in the car today, I carried it in with my lunch and back pack. Once in my classroom, though, I couldn't just leave it in its case, and so during homeroom I brought it out.

My students must have missed the "ukuleles are cool now" memo, because the first question I got was,"Are you from Hawaii?" But a few bars of Over the Rainbow changed their tune, and soon they wanted to try it themselves.

As tempting as it may be, I've learned not to be the type of teacher who keeps all the fun stuff to myself, and I readily handed it over (if with a silent prayer that I would still be able to take my lesson on it this afternoon). I needn't have worried; everyone was very respectful, taking turns gently strumming the strings while imitating the chords they thought they saw me finger.

At last, the most dominant personality of the group took control. "I'm going to play No Type, and you're going to sing," she said. Then, noting my raised eyebrows, she added, "The clean version." While she strummed the open strings in rhythm, the rest of the kids circled around her and sang the lyrics in chorus. Behind my desk, I leaned back in my chair and watched their faces relax and shine as they performed for each other and themselves. It was a sweet and lovely moment.

The bell rang, and they handed me my ukulele and headed off to class.

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