How do you kick off a lesson? Saunter in, say good morning, do a bit of talk about the weather, start fiddling with the computer? Do you insist your students stand up when you come in (perhaps trailing an academic gown?). Are you there waiting when your students arrive, in ones and twos, your folders and papers and books and pens aligned neatly in front of you, a silent rebuke?
I’ve tried all of those (except the academic gown and the tidy pens), but I think what I really need is a theme tune. I would like to make my entry like an all-in wrestler shimmying up to the ring to boos and cheers and the cacaphonic Eye of the Tiger, or The Heat is On, or, perhaps more my style, It’s Only a Paper Moon.
In a language school of my own, I would have a different tune for each teacher, in the manner of Wagner, or Bod:
Or perhaps each lesson would have its own theme, like a T.V. show. On television, the theme tune is there to set a mood, gather a certain sort of attention, set the programme off from its drabber surroundings, news and weather, ads,. I still find little so galvanising as the opening to Soul Limbo, for many years the sound of test match cricket on T.V. (now transferred to radio). Perhaps that would be my choice. Soul Limbo (perhaps because the fourth test is starting today).
So, theme tunes. I don’t know if it has been tried. It would certainly wake the students up. It would grab the energy levels and shake them around. It would play to the average teacher’s natural bent for showboating. And, now that I think of it, it would be a good way to end the lesson too. Not with a bang, but a cheesy tune. Bring Me Sunshine, perhaps.