I’m not teaching this week because our Year 8s are away on school camp. Instead, I’m available to relieve in classes when the teachers need to be out for one reason or another. So this is my prepared-for-anything outfit. It’s an awkward mirror shot because there are no kids around to take a photograph for me. Jeans for ease of movement, my favourite red flats in case I need to run (you probably wouldn’t be surprised to know how often you have to run in primary school), striped tank cut down from a very large tee shirt and a bit of lace for pretty. The jacket I picked up at SaveMart and the red badge pinned to it tells you that I’m in Ashley House.
I nearly went home when I found out that I was going to be teaching ukelele after morning tea. I’ve never even held one and I’m a failure on the guitar. “Just follow the book” said the real teacher. “And the songs are all on the CD.”
The kids were madly strumming “Oh Susannah” when I came in. I was intimidated. I picked up a ukelele and a songbook and slunk into the back row. The song changed to Achy Breaky Heart and they were off again. I tried to make sense of the diagrams in the book but my fingers were too fat to do what they were supposed to do. I worked out a C and strummed gently every time I saw one. A soft, little voice behind me said “It works for me if I make a G7 in this order, then you can just slide over to a C … like this.” She was right. G7 C G7 C. It was easy. I joined in with Waltzing Matilda. I worked out how to make an F and suddenly I was playing Polly Wolly Doodle … in time. It was magic.
I had so much fun! By the end of the hour I was strumming, if not like a pro, then at least like a fairly confident beginner. That was definitely music coming out of my instrument.
And look at the ukelele the kids found for me – it matches my shoes!