Since I’m not student teaching in the States, there haven’t been any homecoming pep rallies, school dances, or extracurricular activities, but what the Premiere students had today was what I would call a Christmas-themed pep rally. In our school, students choose a section for the last three years, identified as Section A through Section G, each with its own concentration. Section A, for example, is the language section, D is the economics section, and F is the music section. Each section has an average of fifteen students (brought down by the five in the music section…most sections have about twenty students), and today they came together to throw a St. Nicholas’ Day party.
Apparently this is a tradition only at my school, and other schools do not do this, but earlier in the year the Premiere (that’s the last year of school) students formed a committee for the planning of this event, which took place for two hours this morning. Students in the upper three grades are excused from class to either participate in the events or stand by and watch, cheering in their section. At the beginning of the event, each section was announced and paraded in to a song of their choosing, dressed in various holiday-themed outfits (or random outfits…I’m pretty sure I saw a care bear). Each section had one Klees’chen (St. Nicholas), who represented the group for competitions later on. There were angels, Housécker (Black Peter, who leaves switches for the bad children), advent calendars, pieces of candy, and presents, among other costumes. As they made their entrance, they threw candy into the crowd, and soon the floor was littered with candy.
Once the competitions began, it became clear that the classes were calling out a teacher to come join them in the competition. Different teachers obliged, coming forward for three-legged races, walks down the catwalk modeling crazy outfits, and quizzes. Points were accumulated and sections eliminated as the celebration moved on, and there was lots of candy throwing going on—both from the Premiere students into the crowd and from the crowd at each other. I had no idea what was going on half the time, but it was really neat to see the students so united about something, so excited, and being so creative. They are so often quiet and stoic; it was nice to see them prancing around like reindeer and getting excited—makes you realize how excited they can be, if we just give them the chance to do something they are passionate about, or approach something in their own way.