Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Tonight was the opening night for my school's performance of Aladdin, Jr. I love seeing the students take a risk and perform for a live audience, but tonight was extra special. Here's why:
This is my girl. She played Genie in tonight's performance, and she was AMAZING! I know... I'm a biased mama, but truly, she knocked my socks off.
You see... she did not give any inkling about how she was playing this role. I didn't hear her sing her songs or practice her lines, other than just running lines with her as she memorized. I had no idea what kind of personality she would bring to this character. Even though I see her in the hallways of the school and I've seen her perform in the orchestra and choir, this is the first time I've seen her in a role like this one.
It was like meeting my kid for the first time.
This is an important reminder to me, both as a parent and as a teacher. Unless we take the time to really pay attention and look closely, we might miss the many gifts that our students keep to themselves, for whatever reason. If we don't know there's some comedic talent behind that long hair, we might hear the laughter of a classmate but miss the great joke. If we don't know there's a talent for creative writing, we might see a well-written essay but miss the mind-blowing fan fiction that's shared only on Wattpad and not in class.
How much did I miss over the years because I was so caught up in covering curriculum? It was when I decided to teach STUDENTS instead of writing and reading that I began to see what I had been missing.
I get the chance to see my girl perform again Friday night. It will be her final performance at an NBJH musical, since she is an 8th grader. I will have my eyes wide open to see the subtleties in her performance that I missed tonight. Ill be listening to the nuances in her inflection to catch the snarkiness she brings to Genie.
I'll try not to miss a single thing.