Is it okay to be blah in a blog? I hope so, because today’s lessons felt a bit blah.

Dog paddling instead of freestyle – not really moving forward, and feeling like everyone was floundering around a bit. With 12 days and only two more rehearsals until concert night, I was hoping to feel a bit more uplifted than I did this afternoon.

Nothing bad happened. It was just one of those lessons where everyone felt a bit flat. My most enthusiastic performer was absent today from the Junior class. His joyous attitude towards singing enlivens everyone and without him, the other students seemed more hesitant to sing out.

One of the brilliant – and challenging – things about teaching is classroom dynamics. The interplay between students as they build, break and repair relationships. Or don’t. Seeing how one person can lift the mood of a room or drag it down. Observing a single student inspiring their peers to try a bit harder, dare a little more boldly – without saying anything. Just by being who they are.

“Come on, everyone,” I urged them. “I know you know the words. Your family and friends aren’t coming to hear me sing!” I made a joke of it, singing some lines really softly. “Can you hear that?”

“Nooooo!” they chorused. “You wouldn’t even hear that in the front row,” said one little chap, seriously.

“You are so right,” I told him. “And what about everyone sitting right up the back? You’ve all worked really hard this semester. You know the songs. Let’s make sure everyone can hear the story you’re telling by singing out nice and strongly!”

It was a similar situation with the Seniors class and their Burke and Wills play rehearsal. Burke was absent again – she’s very confident with her lines, but hasn’t been able to practise the staging. I have lots of written instructions, and I’m sure my teaching colleagues can help from the wings on the night, if necessary.

Que sera, sera, I console myself. It will come together on the night. Doesn’t it always?