Sunday, April 18, 2010

The School Fashion Show

Confident, beautiful, self-aware, purposeful... affirmed.

The School Fashion Show

When the whole is NOT greater than the sum of its parts, who is to blame? How do you differentiate the success from the failure in a meaningful way?

Our school had a fashion/Talent show the other day; the individual performances were, for the most part, pretty good. However the show itself was as a great a train wreck as Britney Spears post baby. So what is the audience and the students and the teachers who helped them supposed to take away form all this?

The problem was, as you can imagine, in the organization of the show. For those of you who have any theater background this was pretty much a first dress rehearsal as apposed to a show. indeed, it was the very first time that the entire program was run through with all participating members!! I am no professional actor (contrary to popular opinion), nor am I a stage manager, but I know as sure as Obama is our first Black President that you must run through the program as though it were real time at least once before you allow an audience to see it.

The models walked great, the dancers danced well, the singers (the ones who did not act like they were...) sang nice original songs and played original music. However one of the acts did not show up in time, the order of the performances was switched for some reason on the fly (more than once), the DJ took it upon himself to direct some of the models and singers to continue, the principal stopped one of the dance groups in MID-SONG (DANCE) because she thought they were too inappropriate, which they actually were not, the show ran over time and the audience just decided to leave mid-act with two more acts still to follow, no one showed award recipients how to walk or shake hands or where to look, the new light system blew some kind of fuse which could not be replaced in time so we had to use over-head projectors to light the stage (because the system was not checked in time), the time between acts was filled with silence (no music), confusion, talking (audience) and scrambling. Even the damn invitations were only handed out TWO days before the show!!

All I can say is that I am glad I was not an organizer.... though I wish I had been. Can we blame the kids? NO!
The amount of work needed for something like this is more than just one teacher can handle, especially in a school where everyone is over-worked. Yet most teachers did not even know this was going on till the very end and by then it was too late.

What message did we send our kids? What are we saying about the value of preparation, hard work, commitment? What are we saying about effort and team-work?
We have a school full of students who come from homes that are not too dissimilar from this show, where, then, are they going to learn if not here, and if we fail what will become of them?

We curse the circumstances of our students, of their parents, of their needs, of their performance... what about us, as teachers, as administrators? What is the value of them coming to school? If we represent the future and the possibilities of education and career... had I been a students I would transfer, or even drop-out.

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