I imagine that in every job there's a part of the job description that when you are in the interview process and you're told about it, you think, "Sure, no problem; I can do that." Then, when you're in the job you think, "What was I thinking?!" For me, that moment came when my boss said something like, "and you'll also be in charge of pep assemblies."
Organizing a pep assembly, especially a state championship one takes more skill than I ever would have imagined. First, of course, there's the 2100 students all gathered in one captive audience. Then, there's the parents, the community members, and the press. But before all that, there's dealing with creating the agenda, which must, of course, balance the participation between the cheerleaders and the pom squad. It also involves recruiting a group of teachers who are willing to participate in the traditional state championship pep assembly teacher dance. The job description for that reads, "must be willing to humiliate oneself in front of 2100 teenagers, who will love you for it in the end." Add in the MC's, groups of students from all the feeder schools in the district who are there to present banners from their schools to the team, some skits, player and coach speeches, and some drum chants from the band, and you have yourself a pep assembly. Plus one harried assistant principal who just wants it all to come off on time and without any major mistakes.
What makes it all worthwhile, though, is to see the excitement from the kids, both those participating and those in the audience. I know there is so much press out there about "kids today" and how different they are from when we were kids. Don't believe it. We have so many great kids at All-American High School, few of whom are likely to make the news for just being good kids and going about the business of preparing for life after high school. It's inspiring to see them working hard, both to win that championship and to succeed in the classroom. A wonderful example of this actually happened today when we were preparing for the assembly. Two of our students were practicing for their skit, which was a take off on the "perfect cheer" skits that Will Ferrell did on Saturday Night Live. The girl in the skit had tried to get one of our most-talented and recognized football players to be a part of it, but she needed him to show up at the practice during 2nd hour class. She told me, "He couldn't do it. You know, he's so into school. He said he had stuff to do in class." I'd say that's the kind of student athlete we all want to have! My guess is his performance on the field tonight will be just as representative of his character.
So, I'll leave you all with my thought for tonight, "Take care, and take state!"