How many school assemblies have you been to? At least a few, I bet. And it’s that time of year again. Have you been to your kids’ yet? How did it go?
Kids all squish and wriggle into the hall like tinned baked beans. Mums, Dads and Grandparents congregate in the back, waving paper programs in front of them, trying to fan away the heat.
All the grownups sit hopeful of seeing their clever offspring receive an award, but in the meantime are happy enough to slouch through the many speeches and clap the achievements of the other kids.
There’s an art to the inspirational speech
There’s always a VIP who makes it. It’s that part of the program which lifts the ceremony. It’s that heartfelt address asking us to give thanks for the year past and/or imagine the possibilities for the years ahead.
It’s not always pulled off. Have you been in those talks where the whole crowd slowly starts to whisper and restlessly twitch? More often than not, the talk has gone on for 10 minutes too long. That or an ill-chosen, scandalous anecdote is revealed.
MP Ryan Park out and about
MP Ryan Park has avoided that concern.
It’s good to find out that he clears out his diary for two weeks a year to show his respect to the local primary and high schools at these assemblies. An important gesture, given how much our schools are part of our lives.
His addresses are often met with applause, as he offers due thanks to the teachers and students for all they’ve achieved that year.
Equally significant, he encourages the children to applaud their parents and family members for their support and sharing the love.
We need a chance to celebrate
As the year draws to a close, these occasions are a great symbol of our character as a community.
We live busy work and social lives, but at the end of the day it’s always about the kids.
The schools help bring it all together, to enjoy it with other families, who are also just trying to do their best to foster capable, kind and creative children.
It’s good we celebrate this. It’s important.
So next time I get a little fidgety cramped up in a steamy school hall, I’ll grin and bare it. I know I’ll miss it when the kids are grown up (even though they’ll always be my little babies!).