It’s been too long since we’ve been able to observe spring school traditions and celebrations in person. We’re at the conclusion of our third disrupted academic year, with fatigue running high. We’ve talked about the different ways this has taxed Academic Leaders–decision fatigue and compassion fatigue, among others–all culminating in unprecedented levels of staff turnover. We need some good news.
So here it is: this is the moment for educators to re-experience the pride and joy that comes from watching your students take the stages that are finally open to them once more. Spring showcases with full audiences, off-campus projects for seniors, award assemblies with parents in attendance–all of these are opportunities to renew and remind ourselves of what we love about belonging to school communities.
Most of us on the One Schoolhouse team experience this vicariously, but Curt Brossman, our Controller, has been experiencing it in person. As the coach of the University of North Carolina Cheerleaders, he had the opportunity to travel with his athletes as they supported UNC’s basketball team throughout their run to the Final Four, an experience Curt describes as “a fantastic blur!”
“From Fort Worth to Philadelphia to New Orleans, our team was there every step of the way. Our seniors, especially, have trained hard over the past two challenging years, with none of the typical rewards.” That’s a universal experience in schools right now–over three years, we’ve watched our actors perform without a burst of appreciative applause at the end, or seen students miss out on hands-on and collaborative projects that typically serve as capstones.
For Curt, and for the entire UNC coaching staff, seeing their students’ hard work and patience pay off in front of more than 70,000 fans in the Superdome “was amazing. I could see pure elation and enjoyment in their performances, after wins and losses alike.”
The opportunity to demonstrate achievement isn’t just important to your students. It also makes a difference to every single person who watches them, to every educator who had a role in their success. This spring, let yourself be reminded why you love schools. When you witness their accomplishments, you can see the evidence of your work over the past three disrupted school years. We’ve all made it–together.
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Brad Rathgeber (he/him/his)