Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All that is good

One of the best parts of any school is the week of the high school musical. For all of the great things occurring in schools across the country, the high school musical involves so many kids forging new relationships by working towards one goal together in a public space. 

Opportunities to celebrate kids in this way are so rare and so special. I hope lots of people go out and see their show.

From the perspective of a middle school teacher, it is always so much fun to see all of the faces on the stage. It is also really cool to hear the buzz and energy coming from the middle school kids before the show.

For about three hours today, middle school kids were having fun with an educational experience.

For about three hours today, teenagers were sharing their passion, talent, and hard work.

For about three hours today, middle school teachers and students watched teenagers about to move on into uncertain futures take creative control of their lives. 

For about three hours today, the arts opened the door for some middle school kids who don't fit in anywhere yet. There are kids who will try out for the musical next year, and in so doing, forge new relationships and grow.

It is one of the things I always loved about the arts--the ability of it to show us our humanity--whether we know it or not.
How could I possibly go back and just teach? I tried last period. But my gosh, my teaching in the class just fell so flat today after that inspiring experience.

Maybe I need to change things up next period. Maybe when my break is over, and my next classes come in, maybe we should just take some time to talk about what we saw...the growing they will do...the relationships they will be a part of...and everything that goes into it...and everything these kids with me today can be. Not who they are...but who they can possibly be.

Leaving the performance today, the cast was lined up to greet the audience of eleven to thirteen year-olds on their way back to the middle school. So, in the spirit of the viral Academy Awards selfie, I took a few selfies with some great kids in the cast.

If you would, and you are on Twitter, take a second to visit me @_briank_ and retweet one of the selfies in celebration of all that good in education and especially all that is good about the next generation. After all, no matter how much testing one shoves down our throats, good teaching is ultimately about relationships.

I loved what you all did today.


  1. I love the high school plays and musicals. You are so right that it opens up the arts for everyone...and so many can find a niche that opens up a whole new life for them. Bravo...and love your selfie. Jackie

  2. After all, no matter how much testing one shoves down our throats, good teaching is ultimately about relationships.

    What a wonderful, true statement!

  3. Great post! I love seeing the kids in the HS plays too. You captured their spirit - great job!

  4. Which one of you is Ellen?

  5. It sounds (and looks) like everyone had a grand time...what fun!

  6. Relationships matter most of all. Love that you felt ( and shared) the flat after lesson, acknowledged it and then switched the game plan for the following period.

  7. The arts are so important! Kids get to work and shine in different ways. I am always inspired by the work of people who include the arts in their teaching. It is so powerful. We often forget that celebration is an important part of learning. I hear excitement and pride in the students as I read your post today.