December 8, 2014, Prescott- This morning, I covered a choral classroom. This frog didn’t croak, but a group of sixth graders practiced their songs and watched a segment of “Mary Poppins”. Then, a single guitar student, in a class of six, showed up for class and I learned his classmates were testing in another part of the school. So, he practiced his chords and watched part of “August Rush”. The Advanced Choir came in next, and led by two classmates, the group practiced a choreographic piece, based on “Here Comes Santa Claus”.
The mostly female ensemble struggled with their own need to catch up with their friends, after the weekend, and the uncertainty that so often accompanies adolescents trying to learn a new skill, while being thoroughly convinced that “all eyes are on MEEE”. They worked hard, very hard, to make it perfect- apologizing to me, and to each other, when they felt it wasn’t. In the end, their teamwork made the difference.
I thought they did a fabulous job, with the various new steps, and that they listened. Confidence is so sorely lacking in teens, despite their reputation for swagger and bravado. Maybe that’s why I can’t think of any other line of work that I’d rather do full-time. Teaching, safeguarding and advocating for children and teens is, and will remain, my most urgent concern- whether it is skill-building, working to free captives and slaves, or just plain listening and encouraging.
Watching the kids engaged in teamwork set my week on a beautiful path.