H.E. Luccock said, "No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it." This year as skilled musicians we have studied, and continued to perfect our craft by working together to put each note in just the right place so that the sounds blended together into something so moving that the listener was changed forever. Music gave a soul to our universe, wings to our minds, flight to our imagination, and life to everything.
This year was about experiencing life through the moves of music. Kindergarten kept it simple as their little ones booted, scooted and boogied into school to a country beat. First Grade did the bump and hustle as they mastered reading and math in the glow a sparkling disco ball. Second grade will faced the bright lights of Broadway and showed their talents to the musical show tunes. Our Resources hit the high notes like the masters of the everlasting classics. Third Grade synthesized all learning styles into a sound as smooth as Caribbean rhythms. Fourth Grade knew their skills so well that they were able to improvise like the great Jazz musicians. And Fifth Grade didn’t stop rockin and rollin us all year long!
We worked on tuning our instruments, read the score perfectly, moved our musicians to deliver each note with just the right timing and put together a beautiful masterpiece the likes of which no one has ever seen or heard. We orchestrated a symphony of student success.
Lao Tzu reminds us; “Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
When I look out to where the dream takes us next I see acres of untilled relationships that lie ahead of us just waiting for the seeds of risk taking to be planted. Land capable of producing the most well nurtured bountiful result that could ever be harvested.
Farming isn’t easy. In fact Will Rogers said, “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” It takes planning, hard laborious work, problem solving, teamwork, creativity, faith and resolve. Sound familiar?
This year we aren’t dividing our farm. There won’t be separate sections for the cattle, apple trees, sunflowers or corn because we’re all members of this big farming family and it will take each of us working together to tend the crops so that we can yield the best results possible.
We started out as a good school, we quickly accepted good as our enemy and made our work with children great, but now it is the time weed out the great and work towards reaping a harvest of excellence. I’m convinced we are never going to get any better unless we dig back deep into the soil on which our foundation was built, bring back some of the basics, weed through the possibilities ahead of us, focus on providing what each little plant or animal needs and look for new and cutting edge ways to grow the next crop.
Next year at CCE we will Cultivate a Community of Excellence. And if there was ever a group of learning leaders who could make it happen - it's this one - I’d bet the farm on it!
Chets Creek Elementary School - Cultivating a Community of Excellence from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.