Sometimes words just don’t cut it….

The End Of Year (EOY) showcase took place on 26th March 2011 and it was almost everything it was hoped to be. For me as teacher, as an organizer, initially it was a lot about how perfect the event was in all respects….the transitions between performances being smooth, food and beverages being served properly, seating and sound arrangements working out fine etc etc.  And to be honest, from where I was looking , it definitely wasn’t perfect. There were technical snags, some oversights and a lot of things that could’ve been done better (from organization point of view). But I was just observing the parents watching this event in the stuffy little  hall of our school and that’s where it came to me: Happiness and expectations, both are relative terms. It all depends from where you’re looking. The children performed one thing after the other, and the parents sat there absolutely thrilled, clapping and cheering their kids. They didn’t seem to mind the stuffiness of the basement, the lack of light or anything at all for that matter.

When I took the decision two months ago to announce this event to the parents in the PTA meet, nothing at all was planned.  All I knew was that this had to be done, because the kids needed to have that chance to go up and perform in front of a crowd. It was solely intended to explore their creativity and boost their self-confidence in something apart from academics.  This is something all school going children get to do and just because these kids go to a low-income school with insufficient funds to hold an annual event, they should not lose out on the opportunity. So this started as something for the kids, but I was amazed to see how much it impacts parents to see their kids speak a few lines in English, or do a little dance. I guess, this holds true for parents across the globe, they are always so proud to see their kids up on stage doing anything at all. It was very special for parents here because this was the first time they were witnessing something like this. Majority of the kids are the first English-speaking generation in their families, it was huge for the parents.  The kids were fantastic. It was amazing how much they are capable of, given an opportunity. That opportunity is what they lack and frankly I think all teachers in the world exist for that sole reason :  as a means for opening doors to opportunities that kids didn’t even know existed, given that one chance they surprise the hell out of you with what they can do.

Anyway, what I intend to say here is in terms of organization it may or may not have been perfect, but in terms of what we wanted to achieve : The kids hit the bull’s eye!.  The parents were elated and the kids had a gala time the whole month and especially on the d-day. :) And in the end, that is all that matters… :)  

 

 
 

Snow White and the six dwarfs …in action :)

 

 

I was just reading what I’ve put down in the first few paragraphs and I realized how insufficient it sounds. It hasn’t even been mildly successful in capturing an essence of what a whole month of preparation was.  Sometimes it becomes very difficult to put into words what you’ve witnessed in person and ensuring that justice has been done to that captured frame. What is seemingly difficult to convey in words stands brilliantly captured in my mind as a series of colourful and very memorable images. Every frame of those practice session under the tree, the first look on the kids faces when they saw their costumes, the dress rehearsal, the vada-pav party on the last day of practice, the green room on the D-day, the look on their faces as they took their places on stage facing a 150+ audience for the first time, the thundering applause as they bowed and walked away from that little stage and a large room full of overwhelmed parents….. I think those images build something stronger than words can ever manage to convey. :)

A big thank you to all the volunteers who came down on a saturday afternoon to take care of all sorts of odd jobs like managing the kids, taking photographs , decorations, make-up for kids, food distribution, video shooting and so many other things.

A giant thank you for all the good wishes that came in from so many corners, it did go a long way in making this event what it was. :)

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4 thoughts on “Sometimes words just don’t cut it….

  1. Hi Chaitra,

    Absolutely adored your February post on Being Pranay – so true about kids (& adults) needing someone to believe in them. It’s so key yet rarely utilized. My second grade teacher treated us like we had an equal say – the first one and the last one. He went on to open a Montessori school. To this day, I remember him as my favorite k-12 teacher.

    Ditto for above. As you say give kids (anyone) the opportunity to feel alive and they will almost always rise to the occasion. Glad your creativity event went well! People get confused that you need money to do creative things — you just need a creative spirit.

    Giulietta

    • Yeah, it’s something I woke up to : Kids don’t like to be patronized. They like to be treated like equals, like every idea of theirs holds some value. It took me a while to change my approach…..they might be in 2nd grade, but they don’t like to be treated like that…. :)

      About money part, absolutely true…..sometimes just the intent needs to be rock solid, if that’s in place you’ll find the mechanism.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment… :)

  2. Chaitra, An enthralling piece. I can just visualize the looks on those parents’ faces and the pride of both parents and kids, and also of course, their teacher, at their performance. None of them, I’m sure, will ever forget this event and what is even more important, it may lead to much bigger roles in their lives thanks to the sense of self-confidence and worth that this event instilled in them. As for you, I believe you got your reward when you saw how the performance affected everyone in that room. A less tangible but equally important reward will be the effect this has on the children in years to come.
    Congratulations on being a great teacher and leader – for that is how you come across.

    • Penelope,

      Your comments are always motivational….Thank you so much for your generosity.

      It was a beautiful moment for the parents, and a happy one for the kids. Just happy because I don’t think they realize what this is doing for them or what it can do for them in the long run. They’re just enjoying an experience that’s different from other stuff happening at school.

      But organizing such an event this year, has given me the confidence to scale it up next year and involve maximum possible kids.

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