Thursday, April 4, 2013

E is for Extravaganzas!

     "Friends, we have a job to do. It's a very important job. It requires practice, focus,  hard work and dedication." The children all looked at their teacher with wide eyed terror on their faces. Some shook. Some turned away. Others sat stoned faced. "Uh, whaaaa." said their expressions. "Whaaaat is going to happen? Whaaaat is she going to do to us?" For several hundred seconds, they all sat there. No one spoke. No one shifted. Off in the distance one could hear the faint sound of Taps playing.
 (Really it was the fourth graders playing Hot Cross Buns on their recorders, but it may have well been Taps.)
     She felt a tap on her shoe. One brave soul ventured to ask. "Teacher", he gulped, "What are we going to have to do? Are we in trouble? Will we have to go to the Principal's office?" She looked down at their mortified cherubic faces. She took her glasses off, pinched the bridge of her nose, inhaled deeply, and let out a long dramatic sigh. " Friends, I don't know." She shook her head and looked up at the ceiling. She feigned a sob. "This is... the most important thing that you will have to do this year. The whole school, your families, your friends, everyone is depending on you. If I don't have your 100 per cent promise that you won't quit, no matter how hard it gets, there's no sense in even telling you. This is an enormous task. If I tell you what the job is, do you promise me that you'll be able to handle it? Do you promise me that you're not going to let me and all those people down? Do you promise me that you will do your best?" She looked each one in the eye and waited another few hundred seconds.
 "Discuss it amongst yourselves for a few minutes. Make sure your friends understand what they are in for."
     She waited patiently as they discussed. Like little miniature adults;shadows of what they will become, they asked each other if they were willing to work hard and undergo this enormous task that only they could do.
      She stifled a giggle. She had to turn away to keep from laughing. She always started it this way. It got them excited. It got them to buy into what they needed to do. It got them to focus.

And that my friends is how I get my kiddos to be serious about putting on those EXTRAVAGANZAS!

The Lesson
One of the hardest things to do is to get students to understand what being on a team really entails. Many of my students have never played a team sport. A class is a team. Everything we do, we do together. We support each other. One of the most important jobs we do is to teach them that being part of a team is hard work; that they are an integral part to our success.
 Not unlike a family.

So, whattaya waiting for? Get your serious face on and scare 'em a little. It works...really!

p.s. If you want to know what happens after all the pwactice, pwactice, two of my earlier posts. Christmas Chaos or the Show Must Go On: Parts 1 and 2. Enjoy!


  1. extavagant indeed! Had me smiling - lovely post thank you! And the lesson learned of team playing is important.

  2. Why you're welcome Lady. If it made you smile I accomplished my task. That was my "Expectation". (Yes, I did read your E post and I loved it!)

  3. Cute! I love it! Isn't it amazing how their attitudes can be influenced by the attitude they perceive from us? We have to be aware!

    1. A very wise lady once told me this,"Kids don't have anything better to do than to watch you." We set the tone...yikes!

  4. I love teachers! I taught for 12 years - character education for a non-profit. I'm stopping in from the a-z. Teacher/moms are the best. Hope you are enjoying the a-z! Visit me, if you'd like:
    from The Dugout