Today I had the pleasure of attending a very special Performance Day in our elementary classroom. Once a week, throughout the year, the elementary students are invited to demonstrate and share a talent in front of a live audience of their peers – their classmates! Today, towards the end of the school year, parents and teachers were invited to attend the performance. This is a very kid friendly and kid organized event, so the definition of talent is very broad and very entertaining ~ whistling, twirling, showing off a new ballet move or karate move, singing a song, drawing a picture, telling a joke, reading a book, reading a story you wrote, counting (forwards, backwards, in another language, by fives, by tens . . . ), demonstrating a magic trick, explaining a science experiment, playing an instrument – cello, guitar, violin, keyboard, recorder, demonstrating some signs you know . . . the list is varied, endless and changes from week to week. A demonstration of how to clap loudly, or how to make a special sound from blowing on a blade of grass held between your thumbs, or jump rope , or blow up a balloon. . . you betcha these are talents in the eyes of the children!
I was so impressed with the poise of the children. The children introduced themselves, told the audience what they were going to perform, performed, took a bow, thanked the audience and then sat down.
The children learn and practice so many worthwhile skills from Performance Day. They develop confidence in being able to stand up and address a group. They practice their audience manners, an age appropriate grace and courtesy skill. They work on developing respect for one another and themselves. And I think most importantly, they recognize the unique gifts and talents of each child in their community, and so develop their appreciation for both diversity and community.
The final performance of the afternoon included a small group performance of ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ on violin, cello, recorder and keyboard. Second time through the tune, the quartet was joined by the voices of the children and audience members. It was very special indeed.
Thank you, Ms. Sudha, for sharing your amazing and unique talents as a teacher! That is what you performed today as I watched your children share their talents. You have created a community of children who are confident in their own skills and contributions to the community, as well as appreciative of the talents and contributions of others. This embodies all of our school values – community, diversity, love of learning, dignity and child centered!