For those of you who have never working in an Independent School you will thing we're nuts, for those of you who have, you probably think this is totally normal. Coming from a public school to independent school's has been a complete 180 degree turn around.
For starters, starting school doesn't REALLY mean starting school. Starting school REALLY means going to camp together. That is where we have returned from, in the blistering heat where Phoenix has broken more records than I would like to even think of. It was hot, it was miserable at night, and the kids had an ABSOLUTE ball!!!
Combined with get to know you activities and fun activities the who three days was jam packed with sending the message that we are a community and this is what it means to be in that community, along with we will have fun together and that's ok was an excellent combination and although WE the adults were kind of miserable, the kids made it totally worth the while.
My favorite moment, and the only one I will share to not bore everyone to tears with a play by play account was from the last night that we were at camp. We hosted a talent like show where the students were given a few hours time to prepare and then performed. It was... INCREDIBLE! Given only a few hours notice they stuck their heads together, ensured that EVERYONE was participating in one way shape or form, and they actually put on really good acts. It wasn't just a bunch of students getting up and goofing off, they learned skits and lines, they taught and choreographed dances, and they even wrote their own lyrics to songs including one that three of my freshman girls did to the tune of Rebecca Black's Friday "We're freshman, freshman, everybody wants to be freshman, everybody's looking forward to the first day of school, we're freshman freshman" you get the idea. ADORABLE! But no, that's not my favorite moment.
My favorite moment was when one of the weaker acts got up, by herself, to sing a song that was truly WAY too far outside of her vocal range. No one laughed, no one started conversations, instead they turned on their flashlights held them up in the air and cheered her on by waving them as if it was a 1980's concern with lighters in the air. I was so touched that they wanted to make her feel like a part of the group, like a member of their community, that they would support her. No where in this world have I ever met a group of students who would do something outside of their comfort zone for someone else, I was truly taken aback by it.
Anyway Monday is our opening of school ceremony, and then we will have our first day of classes. Hope all of my teacher friends are doing well at their prospective schools, and I will see everyone on the flip side of the start of the school year!