Earlier this month, our Jr. High students, with the support of many of our school staff, performed a very successful fine arts production called Cursed Through Time. I have always enjoyed being part of a production, and I was excited to be the production manager, even though I didn’t know what a production manager did. The experience did not disappoint. Seeing the many talents of our student was amazing, and I often had to remind myself that Cursed Through Time was a Jr. High production. Also, I witnessed how our staff shared their time and talents with the students. I need to thank all the staff involved, but especially Miss Barr for sharing her many gifts as Director, and many other roles, of our play. Thank you, everyone, for all you did.
The spring production is a terrific fine arts experience for our students, but I also see it as a tremendous community builder. The spring production is for our Junior High students, and our whole community comes together to support this event. Staff from division one, two, and three all get involved. Our division two and three students were able to view the matinees. Doing a variety of fine arts activities together, teambuilding tasks, and merely spending countless hours together builds a strong sense community among all the participants. As we look to the future, we are already starting to plan for next year.
Building community in our educational system is essential. Without community, we can’t build the system our students deserve and need. Without community, we become individuals on a mission of self-learning. As a community, we become a team dedicated to helping everyone learn. Although the spring production had a curricular base, the students did not learn a lot of curricular objectives. Instead, they learned and practiced a lot of skills that they need as successful learners in a community. Some of these were:
- Sharing Our Bounty: students were able to share their 3Ts of time, treasure, and talents;
- Enjoy life: whether it was time on-stage or work off-stage, or just spending some time with a friend. Enjoy life!
- Be confident: some people love a stage to perform, others prefer to assist backstage. No matter which role, seize the moment. We all have gifts. Find them and use them;
- Be adaptive: you can try new things, like writing a play, singing a song, or managing a stage;
- Take a risk: be a risk taker. You may try new things. You may fail, but if you have the proper supports, you will learn from your mistakes. Fail forward;
- Value diversity: we are all unique; we are all special. We value the many gifts and perspectives of the people around us;
- Lend a helping hand: help your friend, your neighbour, or even an enemy. Be helpful and kind;
- Collaborate: work together to solve a problem. Collaboration can be a lot of work, but the reward is immense. Students are aware we are on our life journey together. Life is not a solo mission;
- Be creative: sometimes it is a good idea to put a lampshade on your head;
- Time management: sometimes we can go at our own pace, but the show must go on, and it needs to go off on time. Following a tight schedule can sometimes be helpful;
- Enjoy the moments: enjoy life. The anticipation before the play, the quiet moments during the performance, the loud moments afterwards, and the sense of accomplishment during the bow;
This short, incomplete, list illustrates that community building projects, like our spring production, serve an educational purpose. More importantly, they build the foundation of a community from where learning will grow. The better the community, the better the foundation, the better the learning environment.