We are at the end of our first-ever Intercession, and I think we’re going to come out of this with lots of thoughts and reflections. But the most important thing we’ll walk away with are some unforgettable memories, stories, and moments of growth. As we often remind students, it’s all about the process and the journey, and we’ve had an incredible ride these last few weeks. I want to share some of my personal highlights with you. So, here it goes!
Help was always to be found around every corner, at any time of day. Middle Schoolers helping Primary or Lower El. Teachers helping students, and students helping teachers, too! Support and encouragement were ever present from the group as everyone worked to memorize their lines, song lyrics, positions on the stage, to speak loud and to the crowd, and execute dance choreography, too. Everyone was involved, and quite often, everyone was together at the same time. This was a true team effort from the start to the finish and they all worked as a Team. It was great to watch.
There were a lot of great leadership opportunities (and leaders stepping up) throughout the Intercession, at all age levels, but I was able to personally witness a lot of this from our backstage crew as they worked in the Library and Maker Space every day (basically in the office). I observed them at the beginning, learning to organize their large tasks (costumes, sets, and props for the whole production!). I watched them learn how to let go of some responsibility and instruct others (willing volunteers!) on how to help. I saw by the end how they expertly worked with younger students, being patient, and developing their own fun ways to keep everyone together and on task. They also (along with every other student) managed some stress and the pressure of the deadline like champions, and they should all be very proud of themselves. Our mindfulness practices and breathwork were a great help!
Okay, this one is probably obvious and expected, but it’s not to be taken for granted. These students worked so hard!! They took on a big project and stepped up to the plate. There were moments when students were tired or bored as we neared the end—rehearsals are a repetitive thing after all. But, these moments or moods never lasted long, and students quickly lifted each other up and returned to another rehearsal with renewed vigor to nail things down.
One thing that is often brought up at school is the Comfort Zone, Challenge Zone, and Panic Zone idea. We encourage our students to step into their Challenge Zone and to step back if they hit Panic. One of the things we love about doing the play is watching students step into their Challenge Zone, getting on stage, and delivering lines/songs/dance moves in front of a large audience. I can share firsthand how I’ve witnessed students grow over the years, from not wanting to be on stage at all (which is okay) to now expressing their desire to have a larger speaking role on stage! I saw it last night: our students getting up there and delivering lines with confidence. And they all had nerves backstage, of course. But, they took their deep breaths (mindfulness again!), and then they went out there and did it. That’s no easy feat. Each year, we see every student grow a little bit more, and their Comfort Zones expand. This is one of the reasons why our 8th graders leave here and excel in whatever High School they choose.
I obviously can’t share all the fantastic moments and memories from our Intercession because I couldn’t possibly witness them all--or remember them all. But I know each student had an ear-to-ear grin on their face after the show, they felt proud of what they accomplished (as they should), and they’ll be talking about this experience for weeks and months to come.
I'll end this with another huge thank you to Ms. Cathrine for leading us through, to our teachers for their flexibility and guidance, and to all who volunteered their time and more during the Intercession. And thank you all for being at the show, showing your support, and cheering loudly for these amazing kids! I hope you all have a great break, and we all look forward to seeing our students in the New Year!
All the best,