A Sad MondayPosted by Christopher Pratt on 12/17/2012 1:00:00 PM
This weekend held, and frankly, this week was full of wonderful events for our students and myself.
Over the week, we had ten caroling opportunities with private groups and civic organizations, four community performances and two nights of concerts. It was a lot for all, but at each event, the audience commented and reacted in such positive ways to the student's performances - and the students felt the positive reactions for their hard work.
Then, on Friday afternoon, our country experienced the horrible events that occurred in Connecticut at the Elementary School. The horrific and awful reality that followed that event is what we, communities across our country now wrestle to live within. I can't say much about the shooter. I don't think much will ever be known about him, and frankly nothing can excuse what he did. And I don't know the children and adults whose lives were cut much too short as a result of his hate, but what I feel in my heart is what I imagine every teacher in this country knows to be true: We would do whatever necessary to protect the lives of our students. Teachers in the country have done it for hundreds of years - since the beginning of the Republic and will continue to do it for hundreds of years to come. This has meaning, it has worth, and above all, it highlights the passion and altruistic approach that teachers show in their work with children, teens, and young men and women.
There will be many, many discoveries in the days to come. We will learn more and more about the victims, our hearts will hurt with the pain for the family the victims left behind and I know many more tears will be shed as a result of this tragedy, but yy hope is that we - this country - re-discovers that children deserve to be in the safest and best learning environments possible and that the staff of those learning environments are the first responders for the lives of their students each day they come into work to help them learn. Those who have belittled and sought to destroy public education have only to be reminded of the dedicated and passionate folks to worked so hard to protect so many children on a day when clearly we could have been mourning so many more innocents lost.
Let us offer a sense of peace as we work to heal from this event, and let us recognize the work ahead will be difficult, but we must CHANGE for the better - for our own sake, as a nation.
A day in MichiganPosted by Christopher Pratt on 9/18/2012It's a cool day in Michigan today - beautiful!Today has been a fun day, South Singers did a nice job in their rehearsal. Freshman Choir is starting to settle into themselves as a group, even some laughing! And we had a performance for the IBEX with 12 students from Pointe Singers.It was a great time today speaking with this organization - who support arts in the GP community about the future of the South choral program. They were so gracious to invite our students into their meetings and were a wonderful audience for them. I was fortunate to meet former boosters and community members who are excited to come to our shows in Novmeber. I was pleased with how well our students represented South. They did a nice job and in live performance, in a private residence, they really set a nice mood for all watching and listening.One thing, perhaps more of a random thought, but it is strange to not have a bus take us as a group to a performance site, but its the norm for everyone except for me! I will adjust!
End of the First WeekPosted by Christopher Pratt on 9/7/2012 12:20:00 PMHello!Well I hope you will enjoy reading a few quick thoughts.Today, Friday, September 7th wraps up my first couple of days at South High School. What a week it has been!Tuesday, our first scheduled day back there was a power outage in our S Building. Unfortunately, for me, I was not on the phone list and did not check my e-mail before coming into school. Once in, there was no internet, so it was not until about five minutes before the start of school that I found out, student's day was canceled. The upside, I was able to get a lot of work done!Wednesday, our second first day of school was a fun day of going over syllabi, getting to the logistics of everything and still doing a little bit of singing. That afternoon I continued my house hunt and saw seven additional homes. No luck yet!Thursday the kids started to settle into a routine and we had a good day of rehearsals. It was fun to meet families at the Meet and Greet in the evening from 5:50 - 9:10, The welcoming was wonderful and I was very appreciative of the kind words of support.Which brings us to today. My day began at 6:45 am with a morning meeting at the Pancake House - it is very good! Classes went well and in the group formerly known as Advanced Women, a straw poll shows that the girls strongly favor changing the name of the groups to Tower Belles permanently. Kathy Manos and I are working, trying to get organizational items completed and ready for next week. I feel fortunate to work with Kathy and Richard Wolf, both have been very helpful in kicking off the start of our school year so well!The weekend will be nice, but I look forward to starting a full week next week with students. Please read the Classroom Calendar for the first semester of rehearsal and performance dates.Have a good weekend!-Mr. Pratt