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ANNUAL DAY -NON-ESSENTIAL OR QUINTESSENTIAL?

February 14, 2018
  • Ever since the school reopened after Pongal break, the entire Sproutz family’s energy was focused on the one and only mega event — Annual Day! Daily logs were filled with nothing more than annual day rehearsals etc for about a week. A reasonable amount of effort was put in by all of us from much before that. If we are anything but a robot, some questions might arise in our minds.

    1. Just annual day practices? Nothing more?

    2. They might freeze on the stage. Why bother allocating them time for that much practice?Shouldn’t they be learning?

    3. These kids are very young. Is all this exertion of my little one worth it?

    4. Why spend so much time, money and energy for this event? etc.

     

  • Frankly, most of these questions have crossed my mind one time or the other in the past three years. For, we need to be critical of every move we make. Every decision that we make should be a result of good reasoning. I sincerely feel that the rewards that we reap from this exercise were well worth the energy that we spend on this!

    Three years ago, just the whole concept of annual day was just a daunting task for me. I have come a long way from there and feel very proud of some of the accomplishments in this area in the last three years. Along the way, I had a lot of revelations :

    Conquering stage fear :

    Some kids, as young as 2-year olds also, have amazing stage presence. They are true natural stars. Given a chance, they rock the stage. However, not everyone may be like that. Exposing them to stage and audience at such early age and getting them comfortable with these experiences before they could voice their opinion about it is very important to conquer the stage fear.

    Social awareness :

    As we were rehearsing for our annual day, kids were more aware of their teammates. They quickly learnt the group dynamic. They were more aware of their spots on the stage. They understood the sequence of the scenes. Kids as young as 3 years old knew who goes after who, when they should be ready, who stands next to them etc. Not to mention, we have seen some true leaders emerge in each team.

    Emotional maturity :

    Children are usually comfortable with their own teacher or support staff. During the annual day, all teachers were playing different roles. But, hats-off to our kids’ emotional maturity. They understood that teachers have assumed different responsibilities and they were equally comfortable with all teachers in their stations whether it is the green room or the backstage.

    Pride and a sense of accomplishment:

    Children felt very proud that they get to showcase their talent in front of their parents! They have such sense of pride and accomplishment that motivated them to put their best foot forward!

  • Creativity :

    I firmly believe that kids have creativity in abundance. Believing is one thing and seeing it in action is another. I would like to share the most exhilarating moment that happened as we were preparing for the annual day. As you know, our theme was Sproutzies’ Wonderland. We wanted to convey to our audience that kids draw inspiration from their experiences in everyday life to imagine something magical. Once they imagine something magical, they work towards making it into a reality.To convey this, we thought that I would read ‘the very hungry caterpillar’ story and have a scripted conversation by kids in which they start imagining one thing on top of another, starting from a butterfly. First, we decided to record the book reading part. Then we were supposed to train the children with their dialogues for recording. I read the book for recording and casually started talking about the book with the children. To our surprise, the natural conversation that they had right after the book reading just summarized the message we were trying to convey. The unscripted natural conversation that we recorded ended up being the scene. So, I experienced the “true Sproutzies’ Wonderland”. What more could be more exhilarating than our dreams coming true? Here is the audio of the kids’ natural conversation:

  • Responsibility and perseverance :

    Often times most of us feel that our children are very young and they don’t understand/feel responsible for anything. But, I sincerely feel that children feel amazingly responsible about the things they care about. The amount of perseverance they exhibit far surpasses that of an average adult. We have seen glimpses of the same during our annual day performances. A couple of our children fell sick few days prior to the annual day and they were recovering from it. Although the fever subsided, children were too weak. Despite their weakness, these children insisted, came and performed with a bright smile on their face. Parents and I were simply awestruck by the responsibility that they have exhibited. Aren’t perseverance and responsibility a set of skills that we need to have to be successful in our life?

    Corrections to sensory processing issues :

    I could see a visible difference in few children’s attitude towards performances from last year to this year. Few kids who were reluctant to participate in any sort of dancing or singing activities last year were our top-notch performers this year. We noticed that kids with mild sensory processing issues such as intolerance to louder sounds etc easily overcame these issues and became normal because of events like these. Isn’t school all about nudging the children towards an overall development and not just academics?

    Teamwork:

    As Sproutz team, we all played to our strengths and a little further. We came out of our comfort zones, learnt new things and pushed our limits as a team to put up an awesome show! I am so proud of our team that includes both our children and staff. Our children definitely got to see their role models (adults) doing different and new things. I hope it inspires them to try and do new things without apprehension!

    Parents watching their children shake a leg and feeling entertained is just a sweet side-effect! The benefits that an annual day has to offer are far more than we can imagine!

     

    NO DOUBT, AN ANNUAL DAY IS QUINTESSENTIAL!

    I am looking forward to the next annual day. Frankly, I revelled in the annual day mode for a couple of days after its done!
     
     

     

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