[This is a slight revision of a post that was originally published on the edu180atl blog on November 18, 2011. The rules for posts on the edu180atl site are that each post must be about something the author learned that day, and each post must be no more than 250 words.]
Today we had a Talent Assembly where students performed music for our high school community. When I was a student, I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing this. To step up to the microphone to sing or to play the piano, flute, or guitar would have been beyond my imagination. I wouldn’t have risked it. I wouldn’t have been able to abide the idea that I might do it poorly or that others might laugh at me for trying.
I was so proud of the students who stepped up today. For each of them courage, skill, and hard work was met with generous applause. I hope each of them felt the glow that follows a job done so well.
I learned today that it takes both the performer and the community to make this kind of event successful. What I saw was not only students displaying remarkable talent, but also audience members cheering the performers as they walked on stage and as they exited. It was a genuine and warm applause that rolled through the through the crowd of around 900 people. Good things can happen in such a school, in such a community. It strikes me that we must work hard in schools to maintain our focus on power of community, and we must focus attention on deepening the connections that tie us together, as a healthy community makes so much that can be great about a school possible.