Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It can be done...

When I taught at a large, urban middle school, one of the most dreaded events was any kind of program or assembly. It didn't matter the nature of the program, be it a Christmas play or pep assembly or MLK remembrance. The 7th and 8th graders treated this as a wonderful opportunity to go crazy. These were kids who didn't behave in most of their classes, so why expect them to suddenly morph into angels when 700 of them were squeezed into an auditorium?

I've seen very respectable speakers booed. I've seen principals stalk out, unable to gain control of the horde. There were times when I stalked out, having had my sensibilities violated by what some consider "cultural activities". I deemed it laciviousness.

But there is hope. Today, Carole and I did our first "Grandparents' Day" at Dallas Christian. The highlight was a two-hour program featuring choral and musician groups. We sat amazed as group after group entered the stage area and took their positions. Not one child of the hundreds we saw showed any inclination to be anything less than angelic and professional. No one clowned around. No one elbowed the kid next to him to point out someone in the audience. Nobody pulled a frog from their pants or flicked the ear of the girl in front of him. And their performances were stunning. Everyone showed self-control, discipline, and pride.

I wanted to stand up and scream, "It isn't like this everywhere!!" But then, that wouldn't be showing self-control, discipline, or pride.

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