Beth once taught me that the most important parts of any lesson are the Opening and the Closing. Even though there’s no new material presented here, these sections singlehandedly impact students more because they determine: 1) are they intrigued and interested in listening the rest of the class, and 2) will they leave with the important key takeaways.
So it’s only fitting that two of my favorite parts of the 2009 LA Institute were the Opening and Closing ceremonies. During the Opening Ceremonies there was an awesome speaker (totally wish I could remember his name) who spoke about the impact of being in a classroom. It was a definite reminder of my desire to return to teaching, and motivated me to start looking more aggressively at possible teaching positions in the next year.
There were many things that were incredible about the Closing Ceremonies. And while I’ve only ever been to two, I can confidently say this one was by far my favorite.
It started with the fact that it was outside. While this actually wasn’t part of the original plan, it just goes to show that everything happens for a reason. Being outside added several things.
1) The obviously beautiful view, that set an incredible backdrop for everything else. 10
2) The somewhat more casual atmosphere. While at times this did lead to a couple of things that may have been a bit too casual, overall it was great to see all the corps members joining in the festive atmosphere, chanting through almost the entire ceremony, and overall clearly having a great time. There was even a family on a walk who stopped by to watch because they were so curious by what was going on. 7
3) The overall ceremony. While sometimes school chants can get really long, I think all of ours were definitely manageable. They were all creative, unique, and one school even brought a couple students who played drums in the band. That was INCREDBILE, and brought me back to HS football games which always makes me happy. The speeches were a strong, powerful finish, and weren’t too long. The video at the end was great, and overall it left me leaving with a great taste in my mouth. 9