This past Friday was one of the most anticipated days of the school year at Assets, because it was the date of our annual Talent Show. Excitement had been building for days and weeks, and Friday didn’t disappoint!
We were treated to thirteen fantastic performances, and delighted in watching a magic show, several singing performances, rapping, dancing, piano playing and a comedy set. Our students are such awesome kids. After the show, one mother came up to me, gave me a great hug and said, “Ryan, I love this school.” Me too.
In fact, many people on Friday commented on how talented our kids our. This is true of course but I had the same reaction this year as I did last year. What stays with me isn’t a specific performance; rather, it’s the affirmation that our students feel secure enough in our community to get up in front of over 250 people and make themselves vulnerable. This fact actually blows my mind. Maybe it’s because the thought of doing something like this would have been completely terrifying to me as a child at age 8, or even 13. Or maybe it’s because I often think about how many of our students have come to Assets after at least one other school experience that did not go well. We often meet kids who describe their former school experience as one lacking acceptance and understanding. Schools haven’t always been safe places for our kids, and then we see events like Friday. On days like Friday, we see students choosing to go on stage and share something important about themselves to many people.
Anyone who’s been to a school talent show knows that kids aren’t fully polished musicians or performers. There are inevitably moments when someone doesn’t quite hit a note, flubs a line, or starts to lose the stamina to finish his song or dance. These are typically charming moments for the adults but can be agonizing for kids if their peer environment is out of whack. I don’t worry about this at Assets. At our talent show, the audience recognizes these moments and fills the space with synchronized clapping, simultaneously rooting you on and letting you know you’re among friends. This is a safe place, where your peers and teachers care for you and are there to support you if you stumble. After the show, I saw some middle school student come up to a pair of 5th/6th grade performers and tell them what a good job they did.
We should all be so lucky to be part of a community that cheers us on when we decide to take a risk.
Mahalo to the many parents who were able to attend this year. Your presence strengthens our community and makes this day even more special for the students. I also want to thank Ms. Shannon for the incredible amount of time she spent helping students refine their acts.