Friday, December 12, 2014

Year 5: Week 15 – A Different Kind Of Pride

As I stood there watching the before school concert of our extra-curricular choral groups I felt a deep sense of pride. I wasn’t feeling the pride of at teacher because I didn’t help any of these students learn these songs. I was feeling the pride of an administrator who because of behind-the-scenes hard work had made this amazing experience happen for their children and their teacher.

I’ve worked to set up musical groups at my school. I’m the one who started our curricular band program, the extracurricular Wind Ensemble, and a music summer camp. All of these groups took an immense amount of work to get going and it’s all been worth the effort. I was intimately involved in not only he creation but also the running of these groups so while I was setting up opportunities for my students I was also setting up opportunities for myself as a teacher.

These extra-curricular choir groups were a different situation. This year we hired a new choir teacher to replace the teacher who retired last year. The teacher that was retired was involved in the extra-curricular choir groups. We wanted to set up a situation so that the new teacher could inject his own personality and musical interests in these groups while expanding the extra-curricular choir program to be more inclusive.

When you take something that has been successful and you want to help it evolve there are people with great intentions and concerns who want to help guide the future of that thing. This was the case with the extra-curricular choir programs, which engendered a great many discussions, and many email conversations.

We had a vision of where we wanted to see these groups go. It wasn’t that we didn’t like what had been happening previously. We loved it but there potential untapped and a desire for the group to become something different for our community, so I worked towards this vision.

It took months and at times I wasn’t sure if it was worth all of the work, but I couldn’t give up because the vision we were working towards directly reflected our school’s philosophy and we needed to make this happen or our children.

Seeing those kids sing their hearts out made me feel proud that I was able to create this opportunity for them. In addition, I watched my colleague, the new choir teacher, have a blast leading them and seeing the fruition of his hard work. Knowing that I had created a situation that allowed him to be successful made my feeling of pride and enjoyment of that moment overflow.

Yes, it’s a great feeling doing something yourself and being successful, but in some ways its an even better feeling setting up a situation so that a colleague can enjoy a high level of success and have a blast getting there.

I could get used to doing this kind of work.

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