Saturday, June 13, 2015

Seventeen Days--Faculty Follies!

One of the greatest traditions that was in place when I got to Gilbert Elementary was the Faculty Follies.  Every year, the staff put together a "full-blown musical" for the kids and Christmas time.  It was incredible and everyone looked forward to it.  

In order to understand how great this was, I am taking a post from a previous blog in December, 2008 about one particular Faculty Follies:

Every year, our wonderful faculty and staff put on a musical for the students at our school. There are three teachers who get together sometime in the fall to write the script for the upcoming Faculty Follies. It is always about something that is happening in the world of entertainment, etc. They always include a take on events that happen in the education world at this particular moment in time. There are always different acts that are posted and different people sign up to be in a certain act. We have two wonderful teachers who always volunteer to be Santa and Mrs. Claus--Tom and Jo. Our wonderful music teacher, Clare, brings this altogether--which is amazing to me.

This year, the children were told that the teachers were too busy to do the Follies and that it really didn't fit into the "state standards." This was done on our morning live news program. Our two anchors urged the students to start petitions to get the Follies back. So students signed petitions on the playground and the Follies were on again.

Over the years, I have seen the kids get so into what was happening, that they actually believe it to be real. One year the Easter Bunny, Father Time and various other characters were beating the Christmas characters on a game show. The kids were incensed that this was happening.

This is probably one of the best things that our school does to build community. The staff has such a great time putting the show together. The students absolutely love to see their teachers and IA's up on stage singing and dancing and having such a good time.

In this day and age of standards, high stakes testing, etc., we can't lose sight of how important that community is to the adults and children who spend so much of their time together. We need to sing and dance and most importantly--laugh at ourselves in order to cope with the every day stresses that constitute our lives.

This wonderful event wouldn't have been possible without Clare Denton, Sue Dunning, Lori Huston, and Robyn Lavin who directed and/or wrote it every year.  And if I left anyone's name off, please let me know!!!

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