Inspired by my teaching partner’s slice about the talent show today.
This afternoon, the day before spring break, was our annual school talent show. This is its fifth year in existence, and only fourth and fifth graders can audition. There were 19 acts this year, ranging from Rubik’s cube solving to fencing to student-choreographed dances to musical performances.
Every year, students await the spring tryouts in anxious anticipation. Since I looped up to fourth grade this year, I had students audition. Four of my students made the cut, and they’ve been busily (and nervously) preparing for over two months.
As we waited in our school gymnasium for the acts to begin, I could see the rest of my students craning their necks, trying to spot the performers. Everyone settled down, and our music teacher announced the first performance: a choreographed parkour routine. Three of my boys were in it, and as they took the stage, I could see their nerves. I hoped they would do well.
And then the music started. The boys started moving. Jumping, flipping, somersaulting, rolling, running. With each move they made, the crowd cheered. Confidence started to bloom on their faces. The flips got a little higher, the rolls a little bolder, the jumps a little longer. As they continued to move and turn, the music gaining in intensity, smiles grew. Each new move seemed more daring than the last.
I sat there in my seat watching these boys, and I felt so proud. One of the boys is not someone who loves school. He has grown so much as a learner the past two years and gets excited about certain parts of our day, but there are many aspects of school where he doesn’t feel capable. To watch him on the stage, his focus obvious even from the back of the gym, was to watch his anxiety fall away and confidence take its place. It was like seeing him in a totally different light.
I need to look for these opportunities for students to be in a different light.
A light of confidence. A light of capability. A light of hope.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post each day in March. Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place for writers to share their work all month long and hosting the March Slice of Life Story Challenge!