I walked onto the campus of today’s school here in Brasilia expecting to be gone within a couple of hours after only two performances. I was pleasantly surprised when this did not end up being the case.
The school I visited is called The International school. They had a really creative way of preparing for my presentation. They sold tickets. I love that concept because the children who are present are there because they desire to be and not because it is a forced-to-attend assembly.
My first performance was at another campus for kinder and 1st graders. Initially I allowed a little fear to creep into my psyche when I saw the teachers marching the children into an open area performance space and their line seemed never ending. More than a hundred kindlers and 1st graders. Someone up in heaven either really believes I’m the “go-to” guy for these performances or I’m being tested. I breathed in deeply, reminding myself that I am a professional and that I’ve done this so many times over the years that it should be easy. Has your mind ever debated itself offering rebuttals between positivity and negativity? Well mine does but it is a character flaw that I am working hard to eliminate.
Positivity won out this time and I approached the task at hand, performing for more than a hundred or so kinder and 1st graders, with grace and honor. After all, if I was going to go down it wasn’t going to be without a fight. My pride wouldn’t allow me to court the idea of defeat and so I ascended the performance area with the idea that all things are as they should be and I am where I am needed in this moment.
I must say that, by the close of the performance, I was very proud of myself. You should be proud of me to. I took an almost impossible task, performing for a large group of 5 and 6 years olds, and made it look easy. Well… maybe not exactly easy but I did it nonetheless and did it successfully.
The director of the school was kind enough to take me on a tour of the campus. What an amazing campus! It is a compound style campus geared towards progressive programing, learning and teaching techniques. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Oh… and lest I forget. The school shares it’s campus with several monkeys who inhabit the surrounding trees and visit every once in awhile to be fed by the children. Can you imagine? I actually got a few pictures of one of them hanging out on a tree near the play area. I was so enjoying this campus tour. Monkeys!
I know that I am more fortunate than most when it comes to a perspective on education across the world. I actually spend my time visiting schools in different countries. I can say with certainty that the developmental needs of each and every child on this campus are not only be met but, in many areas, exceeded. The staff are all warm and friendly. They speak of plans for the future with such enthusiasm that it makes me want to see how I can be a part of their progress.
We left the campus of 5 and 6 year olds and were driven to an adjacent campus about a mile or so away.
I was initially schedule to do one more performance on this campus and leave but I guess they sold so many tickets that two more performances were required.
I loved hearing that. They sold so many tickets that two more performances were required. I could keep saying that over and over again. when others find value in your work it is not only affirming but rewarding in so many unspeakable ways. Today I felt affirmed.
I completed the performances and spent some time with a few of the children talking.
The librarian of the school, the one responsible for me being there, actually came in on her vacation to make sure I was comfortable and everything ran smoothly. She came in on her vacation! Did you hear me say she came in on her vacation?
I left the International School here in Brasilia feeling honored by having shared time with some very motivational people. If there is ever an opportunity to return to this school in Brasilia I know I will, even if only to witness the progress I know they will have made since my last visit.
I’ve got a 7:30 am performance tomorrow morning. Yes I did, indeed, say 7:30 am. What school has children assembled and ready for a performance at 7:30 in the morning?
Well my friends I guess I’m about to find out tomorrow.
Até logo, chau chau..