Last evening, it was our school musical for the grade 2 to grade 5 students. All the classes had to sing in the choir for the musical. Each class as a group had taken a different role in the musical and had to learn quite a few songs. My class was the opening act. They had to sing and dance as “the elves”. I made each student a red scarf. It looked great with the elf hat that I bought for each one of them. A year ago, I found some mini finger flashlights from the dollar store. I had been saving them for a whole year for a special opportunity. We finally used them last night. Each student had two flashlights, one on each hand. The students were just adorable with the whole outfit. The music teacher and I told everybody to wear a white top with dark pants because the elf outfit would be totally perfect with the white. We went through a few dress rehearsals without any problem.

 I have a really good group of students this year. Half of the class has been with me for two years, so they know me and my expectations very well. A couple of the new additions to the class, however, might be a bit challenging at times, but don’t we all have one or two students who are sort of the “mission of the year”? Hahah… Anyway, here is what happened to one of those students last night.

 The concert started at 7:00, so most students were told to arrive at 6:40. However, I told my class to arrive at 6:30 because we were the opening act and we should be getting ready on stage at 6:55. I warned them not to be late or they would be missing the first performance. It did happen before that some students arrived really late, right after their class performances. It broke their hearts!

 All my students arrived on time and wore the appropriate attire. They looked so adorable! Anyway, all of them arrived, except one! The clock ticked and I finally had to give up waiting for her. I grabbed that student’s lights, hat and scarf and lead the class onto the stage. The curtains were drawn and a few minutes before our performance, the girl finally ran up to the stage to join the line, but with a pink and black sweater on! Goodness Gracious! What was she thinking?

 We had been through the rehearsals, and in fact, we had a dress rehearsal that afternoon. I even prepared extra white shirts for people who needed a white shirt. Now she arrived late and with a totally different outfit for the choir. I almost had a fit. I could not drag her off the stage since the show was ready to start. I quickly put the scarf and the hat on her, and send her back to the line.

 All in all, they had a fantastic performance last evening. Today, we had a little discussion in class about last night. I asked the girl why she did not follow the instructions to wear the proper attire for the choir. She said, “My mom said I should be different and be who I want to be.” (What? Can I smack that mother of hers?) Then, I asked her if she actually realized that she was NOT singing as a soloist but in a “choir” for a musical, just like the choir in the church. She said, “I don’t go to church, so I don’t know about the church choir.”  I replied, “I don’t go to church, either, but if I were singing as a member in a church choir, I would have to be singing in unison and dress the same as the others. It is called the teamwork!” Plus, we all got the same instructions as the other classes. Why should she be special? I know the little girl did not make the decision to arrive late, but she did not deliver the messages home correctly, either.

 I am so fed up with people who are so righteous about whatever they want to do and totally disregard the rest of the world. I know I should not be upset with a little girl. However, if she was not told about how her personal decision may affect the team, she would grow up to be another arrogant adult who thinks her personal “freedom of expression” is more important than the priority of the team. Can you imagine seeing a basketball player who decided to ditch the team colour and wear his own jersey instead? That would never happen in the real world. I find that children sometimes behave certain way that mirrors their parents’ attitude. This girl’s mother often comes in to talk to me. Once she had admitted that she is very disorganized herself, and no wonder that the child has difficulty getting herself organized.

 Anyway, my students had a superb performance and the concert is now over. Not only did they sing as the elves, they also worked like the elves helping me promote the holiday food drive for the community. They helped broadcast over the PA system on the daily public announcement, and they went to different classes to collect food. They are good citizens in training. It’s better to start them up when they are young. They are truly my angels of the year!

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My Corner for Education

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