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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Singing, singing, singing

Been doing a lot of thinking about teaching of late. Don't get me wrong I know that's all teachers do, think about our jobs. We are after all a committed lot who are passionate about what we do but I have. like lots of teachers I think, hit somewhat of a 'low' point and this has caused me to reflect, muse, even more than I usually do. One of my many thoughts is how I feel the joy is being sucked out of teachers and therefore the classroom, the reasons for this are vast and perhaps I will try to unpick that colossal thought some time in the future. For now however I thought I would share with you the rebel in me which is fighting in my own way against this raging negative tide threatening to swamp our classrooms.

My huge rebellion takes the form of singing! Now I would refer to myself , as a singer, as someone who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket but what I lack in technique I more than make up with enthusiasm. Singing has taken over my classroom. We start every Monday morning in year 2 with our Monday song 'What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong. I chose this song as it, I feel, encapsulates all of the things that bring us joy in life and reminds me of all that is good with the world. Thanks to the power of adverts, most of the children had heard it  before and although a bit unsure at first by Monday, week three, were rushing in to sit on the carpet on Monday morning ready to sing it.

Throughout the week we sing a selection of  maths related songs, Odd Bod and Even Steven, times tables songs, the down, down, down, up, up rhythm for learning our tables. See the link below.

catchy tables

We have also this week been singing lots of Harvest Festival songs including Big Red Combine Harvester and a great song from Charanga called Vegetables.

Our week ends on Friday Mornings with perhaps our favourite song of the week 'The Candy Man' by Sammy Davis Jr. This song encapsulates the whole reason for my post today. The children LOVE singing this song, they sway and wave their arms in the air as if they were at a Take That concert, they smile, they laugh!
But what would Ofsted say? What would I get in a lesson observation? Sad isn't it? Now I said this makes me a rebel. Well it does in a way because sadly I know lots of teachers who simply wouldn't sing these songs as they don't have time, they don't teach the children anything, they don't see 'progress'. Well this is what I say to all of those teachers, the point is 'JOY',  life. Learning etc is enhanced by joy and happiness, indeed surely that is our absolute aim for our children's lives and our own lives - happiness. Because without out it nothing else makes any sense at all and maybe, just maybe we need to teach the art of happiness to our children and ourselves.

So please go away this week, be a rebel and sing with your class, have fun, laugh, seek happiness!!!!