It is a great feeling when you get reminded how amazing people can be. I’ve been drowning in planning, marking and classroom issues for the past few months, so I’ve forgotten how incredible students can be outside of the classroom. Today, the school was treated to a pep rally to showcase how talented and skilled these students are.
When I started the year, I was determined to get to know the students outside of my classroom. I had volunteered to help out with student council, but as life got busy, I cut that opportunity out of my schedule. It was a lot of fun helping out with Halloween, but I knew I couldn’t handle the extra hours, and I wanted to spend time with my newborn. I regret not rearranging my schedule in different ways because what the students have accomplished this year so far has really impressed me.
Even though I only teach them English or wish them a pleasant evening in the hall, every time one of them bravely took the stage to perform in front of their peers, I couldn’t help but beam with a little pride. As they performed songs, played games, or just cheered each other on, I could see how passion had a lot to do with what they were doing.
I’ve noted indifference before in youth. How students would rather sit around garbage in the lunchroom than pick it up. Or how some will just walk by someone who is struggling to pick up something dropped. However, during the pep rally, I saw students engaged by a choir, solos, and a young man who performed an incredible improvised ditty on the piano. In fact, later in the halls, many students and staff were applauding this student’s effort, and I couldn’t help but be proud that I taught him.
I knew he was creative and took English seriously, but I had no idea that he was a talented pianist. I struggled through piano lessons as a child, and I know how many hours it would take to be that good because I never put in those hours. I found other distractions during my high school days, and didn’t really find my passion until my post-secondary years. Passion is something that should be channeled and utilized in the classroom. I still have a lot to learn about how to do that, but I hope that next year I will get a chance to interact with these amazing students outside the classroom. In fact, I’ve already started making recruiting pitches to a few students to consider helping out with student council in the future. I just hope that the students will have me back, and not think I’ll leave them hanging again.