My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

March 2, 2015

Applause SOLC #2

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I attended our high school's musical production of 42nd Street on Saturday night.  The students did a great job singing, dancing and acting.  The leads got standing ovations (they deserved it) but it got me thinking that not everyone got the applause they deserved.

As much as I was in awe of the pure talent shown by all the students on stage, I thought about all the kids behind the scenes.  The ones who painted sets, managed the lights, played the music, moved all the props, helped with costume changes and applied the makeup.  They put in as many hours as the performers, but they had to enjoy the applause from backstage.

When I think of my classroom, most of the attention (positive and negative) goes to those students who participate and call out and demand the most attention.  My quieter, thoughtful students usually stay "in the wings" and let others "take the stage."  I try my best to give those quieter students one-on-one attention and let their voice be heard.  

Not everyone is a performer or an extrovert.  The world needs actors and backstage people.  We need to cultivate all personality types and make sure everyone gets the applause and recognition they deserve.


  1. Nice tribute to the support staff backstage and in the back of the classroom. I always preferred to work behind the scenes as I had debilitating stage fright. Have you read "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain. She also has a great TED talk, which I showed to a very quiet speech class last week; they gave it much approval.

  2. I can absolutely relate to this post. I have been thinking a lot about those students who really are behind the scenes. I have really been making a conscience effort to recognize these students.

    Great post!1

  3. Thought-provoking post. There are some days that I drive home, thinking through the day, wondering if I even said anything personal to some of my quietest kids. This is a good reminder to make sure I give them the notice they need and deserve.

  4. Love this...and love your own honesty and humility in putting it out there. We all do our best to uplift each and every child, and some days, for sure, are better than others. But that is why we get 180 days with 25 or so, to do the best we can to love them as best we can! (And there are those who take almost every bit of those 180 days! lol!)

  5. Love this analogy! I wish the loud demanding kids didn't demand quite so much. I've actually been thinking of it a lot lately. I like the way you emphasized this.

  6. Great analogy and an important reminder. It's hard to find that balance of providing everyone the amount of attention that is deserved, not required. Lots of deep breaths and lots of small group! :)

  7. We all have a tendency to pay attention to those who make the most noise or commotion. But so many others get lost in the shuffle (kids and adults). Thanks for this reminder to reach out to those we don't hear or see.