Education / Prelude Program

Just Keep Swimming

My mother is a retired teacher.  She taught high school American Literature for 32 years (or thereabouts), and in that time she dealt with her fair share of crazy students.  She had a principal who would say to each teacher he passed before the schoolday began, "Let us gird our loins."  I've always felt that was a particularly apt saying – it sounded rather unpleasant and conveyed the feeling of a tidal wave of work coming at you quite well. 

I'm girding my loins, so to speak.  Tomorrow, two classes of 3rd graders will take to the boards for their orginial plays.  These are the plays that have required an elephant, a dragon, a golden fish, 6 butterflies, 6 monkeys, 5 floating lamps, a canoe, a pirate raft, 3 alligators, 4 pirates, 2 mermaids, a jungle, a waterfall, a rainbow, . . . and a partridge in a pear tree!  (That last part was just a joke, but the rest is true!)  Directing a play with so much going on is insane to begin with, but no matter how prepared I am, something always surprises me.  I find that adopting Dory's song from Finding Nemo is a good plan on play days: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . ."

For example, today I found out that one of my students has a doctor's appointment in the morning and won't be at school. "Just keep swimming" and re-assign the role.

Still need a banana and a pair of Red Panda ears?  "Just keep swimming."

So what will tomorrow bring?  I don't know, aside from an early morning and tears of pride (and/or relief!)  What I do isn't an exact science; so much is riding on the students and how hard they've worked and how they feel.  I've done what I can, but ultimately it is up to them.  Afterwards how will I celebrate?

"Just keep swimming."  I've got two more plays next Tuesday! 

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