So this just happened last week….

I’ve been teaching in schools for so many years now. I’ve seen so many little faces grow up to be big faces. Every so often though, something happens that totally shocks me. Not often these days – but it happened last week. Let me tell you about it….

I’m at a school where the music program is HUGE. I am given free rein to do pretty much what I want. I have incredible support from the Principal, the Assistant Principal and all the staff. It’s pretty fabulous. At a meeting at the start if the year, the Principal asked me to teach the whole school ‘We Are Australian’. This has three verses, in the chorus children sign what they sing in AUSLAN, and a verse in Yawuru, the First Nations language from the Kimberley region (we have permission to sing in this). He wants it for a performance at the end of term 2.

Now, this isn’t as big a job as it sounds, because years 4,5 and 6 all know this. So it’s a medium job. But I need to teach K-2. At this point, kindergarten have been at school for about two minutes (okay. I know. At least a week….) – and getting them to sit still at the end of a day is an achievement. And I have them all in a choir, and now I have to teach them this massive song.

So I thought I’d start. And thought I’d start with the sign language part. I estimated it’d take three weeks, me just chipping away at it.

Rehearsal goes like this. Kids come in at the end of the day. Get the kids musically warmed up. Tell them what we are about to do. And then start….. I said each word of the chorus. Then showed them the signs. Then started to put it together with them. Then added the singing. 180 little faces. Totally engaged. Even kindergarten.

Seven minutes later, we’d done it.

Yes, read that part again. No exaggeration.

It was extraordinary. These little kids. Singing. Signing. Smiling. Knowing that they’d just totally amazed me. Teachers’ mouths were open in astonishment. I stood out the front, totally gobsmacked.

And then 180 little people cheered. For themselves. For what they’d done. Totally joyous.

I hope I don’t forget this for a LONG while.