Two weeks ago, my stepson performed in his first band concert. He and his band mates have been practicing for months, and the mister and I have bravely endured loud trumpet blasts emitted behind his closed bedroom door on a nightly basis. We were relieved that the concert was finally here, but anxious at the thought of sitting through three hours of strained notes, playing “Hot Cross Buns”.
Fast forward to concert night – it was due to start at 7PM and we dutifully arrived a half hour early to catch a viable parking spot. We were flabbergasted to find that the school parking lot was jammed pack. We had to circle the neighborhood, like a hawk, skimming side streets for an opening. We should have known that the full parking lot was an indication of things that were to come.
The entire gym was filled with foldout chairs and warm bodies, cramming even the balcony floors and side doors. It was a surprising and beautiful sight, for a teacher who have taught in an urban district. It was something I have never seen before: real parent involvement. The thought that all these people– parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends of all shapes, sizes, and age– came out for one night to hear one grade perform. This large mass was there for one grade! ONE GRADE!
I couldn’t believe it. The mister saw my raised eyebrows and simply nodded. That was how it simply was for this small suburban tight-knit community. What was this school administration doing… what were the teachers doing… what were the students doing that elicit such a strong loving, and supportive response from their community? I would love to be a fly on a wall in that school and take notes.