Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Night Ms. J Rapped #gamechanger

You learn a lot from attending your own school's talent show. I live and breathe my elementary school principal life. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming. At times, I feel like the demands of the job are crushing and nearly impossible for any one person to excel in all aspects of the role. But most days...most days are wonderful. Those days are full of sweet students, a love for learning, passionate educators, sacrificial parents, and little moments of beauty all weaved together. However, every now and then, a day, night, or moment comes along that simply takes my breath away. I'm not trying to be dramatic, or captivate you with my intro. I'm being completely serious. I live for those days, for those moments, where I have to remind myself to take my next breath because my senses are just so completely overwhelmed with joy, love, and happiness, that I don't even know where to turn.

Enter the Penngrove Talent Show 2015. With 27 incredible acts, our Talent Show was full of singing, dancing, roller skating, instrument playing, etc.! Unfortunately, I had to miss most of the first half due to the elaborate costumes that one of our teachers ever so creatively invented for the surprise staff act.  It took our 11 staff members who participated, about 30 minutes to get dressed. We don't mess around @pennpanthers. When the music started, our stage was transformed into a scene right out of Frozen. Yep, that's right, we danced and sang to "Let It Go" because, well frankly, we're cool like that. Just THIS moment alone was exciting! It was the end result of many hours of planning and practice from people who showed up early to school, gave up their lunch breaks, and stayed late in the afternoons to practice our groovy moves. And we're adults for crying out loud! Imagine the time, effort and energy that went into EACH of the 27 acts we boasted. It's just incredible. In case you're wondering, our Frozen act was a hit, and I'm sure there is still some silly string in my hair but you can watch for yourselves here and be sure to fast forward to 0:55 because the intro is long. If you ever need to hire a consultant for your staff talent show act, Mrs. Sposato is the woman to ask!

As I watched the second half of the show, I noticed that each time a new student or group of children took the stage, I had this crazy intense feeling of being nervous and SO proud all at once. I'm not a parent yet (although I field this question weekly) but after knowing most of these kids for a couple of years, I certainly got a taste of what it probably feels like to be a proud mom. At one point, when a couple of 2nd grade girls were singing, I leaned over to our office manager and said, "We really do have the best jobs ever." 

Up until this point of the night, I felt things were pretty magical. The community vibe was at an all time high. I didn't have my program handy (a 5 year old was sitting on my feet which I loved and I didn't want to move her to see what act we were on) but I had no idea we were nearing the end of the show. Two of the most beautiful 6th grade girls you'll ever meet, Greer and Lily, were dancing and singing to Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" and then there was a pause....

And then a voice....WHAT?!  Out from the wings comes Ms. J (one of our 6th grade teachers), straight up RAPPING to T. Swift with her students by her side. And it gets better!  Out come ALL of the 6th grade girls dressed in matching adorable tutus, accompanied by our other rockstar 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Newman, and the lucky emcee of the night, Kieran. (yes, the only boy on the stage with all this girl power) At this point, Ms. J said she saw me stand up and start cheering but I have no memory of doing so. It was THAT moment. That moment when I can't breathe. I was caught up in being SO impressed with Ms. J's rapping skills, so moved by the look on Greer and Lily's faces that their teacher was performing with them, and EVERYTHING that dance stood for, that I was overwhelmed beyond explanation. Teamwork. Compassion. Relationships. Fun. Respect. Empathy. Kindness. Inclusion. Family. Laughter. Community. Celebration. Excitement. Honor. Admiration. Love.

What Ms. J and Mrs. Newman did tonight with their students just happened to be an outward example of the things so many teachers at Penngrove and other schools around the world do on a daily basis. It looks different for each educator. For some, it's that quiet touch, the long hug, the modification of an assignment, a call home, a special "job", the thoughtful planning of an activity, the moving of a seat. But tonight...tonight at Penngrove Elementary's Talent Show, it was the night Ms. J Rapped and let me tell you, it was a #gamechanger. Tonight I was reminded that if I look hard enough when I get back to school on Tuesday, I'll find a school full of people who know what it means to Give. Risk. Learn. Trust. 

* A HUGE thank you to three very special parents who made this talent show not only possible but amazing: Kelly J., Renee D-C, and Paul K. And to Mrs. Sposato who made our staff act so off the hook, you're a real gem! #glitter And to our videographer, you are the best YouTube uploader ever! #itwasnteventuesday

Ms. J gets DOWN with her students! 

Staff Act - Let It Go! #beststaffever

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! Penngrove staff ROCKS! Ms. J is amazing!