“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”
Abraham Lincoln

This being my second year of doing the Veteran’s Day performance at my school, I thought it would be flawless.

And, to my credit, for the most part it was.

The kids sang beautifully. They behaved very well. There was a pretty decent turn out, audience-wise. I had started planning it the first week of school, so everything really went off without too big of a hitch.

Yet, because I want to continue to improve as an educator and program manager, allow me to share the 3 main lessons I learned this time around. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes.

#1- Get more press. Seriously. I sent out a press release 2 weeks in advance, but I didn’t follow up. I should have emailed reporters directly and invited them out, or at least for an interview. I should have had camera’s there, a big front-page paper article. I should have made it a bigger deal- even been willing to go on the local morning variety show- but I didn’t. I was ‘too busy’ to make these things happen. [I hate that excuse.]

Why would I want more press there? Because the more attention I get from the community, the more likely they are to fund things I want, the more secure my job, and the more influence I have in the community at large. Influence is power. I had an opportunity to get more power and I skipped it.

#2- Microphones. I should have had more of them. I should have asked the principal to fork out a couple hundy cash so I could bring in some better speakers and a few more wireless microphones for my soloists. As it was, we had 2 wireless and they got passed around very quickly. It was cute and funny [because rarely do my students make a ‘mistake’ that I don’t think it’s cute and/or funny], but it was pretty unprofessional. Don’t like that.

On the plus-side, I did have one of the best sound guys in the country* backstage helping with the ONE monitor I had and making sure the sound balance was as good as it could be with our combined gym/stage set-up. You can check him out HERE.

#3- The After-Party. Some of the parents of 5th graders arranged for a light luncheon to be served to attendees post-performance. I did my typical ‘wrap this thing up and bolt out because I can’t stand to hear people’s compliments’ thing. But what I SHOULD have done [and yes, I hate that word/excuse as well] is go in and shake some hands, and take their applause. Take it and like it. I should have put on my ‘belle of the ball’ persona and even, maybe, taken some videos of stories and thank-yous and posted them on my YouTube.com page.

I could have created some great, thought-provoking and potentially powerful content, and derived more meaning for myself, and so many other things, if I had just taken a minute, put my ego aside, and accept the accolades.

Now, it’s YOUR turn. Think back to your most recent performance and share in the comments below the #1 thing you wish you could re-do.


*I’m allowed to call him the best of the best since he is my best friend, boyfriend, and stalwart supporter. Now go check out his website


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