Time to Shine

Monday our school hosted a ballroom dancing competition with schools across the Bronx. 10 of our fifth graders went up against four other teams of students. After the foxtrot, merengue, rumba, tango, swing, and wild card rounds were over, our school emerged with the gold and a chance to compete next week for a spot in the citywide competition. With parents, kids, administrators and teachers all cheering for our team, it was an incredible chance to step back from the paper work, test work and general classroom struggles. With that step back, everything came into focus.

We were all there for the same reason: the kids. More than anything, we all just wanted to see our kids succeed. And the kids wanted to win so badly, because they had been working for weeks to perfect their dancing. The sense of pride and community when our team was announced as winners was indescribable.

Beyond that, I walked away with a newfound appreciation for arts and extracurriculars in the schools. The dance competition highlighted what it means to really give a kid the chance to shine in their own way. At it's core, that should be the mission of any school, because when a kid has a chance to really excel in one area - whether its writing, math, sports or music - they have a reason to show up everyday and try their best. With all the horror stories out there about struggling schools cutting back on extracurricular programs, I was proud to see my school hasn't forgotten there's more to education than tests.


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