Teamwork – May 5, 2010

I hope that you were fortunate enough to see Beechwood’s production of Aladdin Jr. It was a truly inspiring experience, watching all of the hard work come together into an outstanding production. As I watched, I was filled with such pride. I was proud of our staff, our parents and most of all the kids.

How does something like this happen? What are the most important elements that contribute the success of a project like Aladdin Jr?

Obviously, you need a talented and hard working leader. That woman was Mrs. Getter. The level of dedication that she showed in directing the musical was beyond words. In addition, you need a school philosophy that values the performing arts. The board, administration and staff need to be willing to dedicate the time, human resources and money needed to do something like this. In addition to these elements, you need confident kids willing to take a risk and perform before a live audience.

But when I reflect on the success of our musical, I truly believe the most important factor was teamwork.

Mrs. Getter did so many things well with regard to Aladdin: the auditions, the rehearsals, designing sets, hair, makeup, choreography, sound, the list is endless. The best thing she did, however, was to form the cast and crew of the musical into a self-sufficient team.

My job for the musical was to be backstage and make sure that people were quiet and focused. It was the easiest job I have ever been given. The kids kept each other in line and focused. They communicated with each other in an intense way, but they were never negative or harshly critical. They reminded each other of what was supposed to happen next and they encouraged each other to be the best they could be. And when it was all over, they cheered in unison for each member of the cast as they came back on stage to take pictures. What more could a principal, parent or teacher ask for?

On the final night, Mrs. Getter took off her director’s hat and instead sat with her family to watch the play as an audience member. The fact that she showed this level of faith in her team was the highest compliment she could pay them. For this one night, they didn’t need her to guide them, because they had each other.

All of us should strive to instill the importance of teamwork in our children. By learning to listen to each other, to support each other through the tough times, to work toward a group goal and to recognize the good in each person we work with we greatly increase our chances to be successful and happy.

-Mr. Laurance