So, you’re in charge of setting up enrichment shows for the year. Congratulations. You have one of the more exciting jobs on of all of your school’s committees. You’re in showbiz now! But now you need to shift through the hundreds of postcards, brochures, and emails you get promoting the next best thing in assembly programs. But now you’re asking yourself, “Where do I start?”
You’ll notice that the vast majority of assembly shows are educational in nature. Maybe you’re looking at anti-bully programs, animal shows, character education speakers, or live theater flyers that show up in the mail every day. It seems like there are dozens upon dozens to choose from. But do you really need to book an “educational show” or is a program that’s designed to be “just for fun” going to be enough to make your teachers happy.
Of course school time is precious and you’re going to want to schedule shows that support the teachers’ classroom lessons. Kids are in school to learn so educational shows are the most popular. But sometimes everyone needs a little break from learning. School should be a fun place as well.
But maybe toe-tapping music, a little escapism from a well produced play or touring show, or some amazing magic could be prescribed for those midterm blues as well. The best assembly shows keep kids and teachers engaged with lots of audience participation, jokes, and silliness while delivering messages, but sometimes those messages are not necessary. Maybe the teachers and the students just need a little break. An assembly program that’s “just for fun” is a great reward for kids who have worked hard all year or just need to be thanked for being a part of the supportive school community.
A lot of schools like to save their “just for fun” programs for special times of the year. Julie Nurse, a fifth grade teacher at Mason Elementary in Grosse Pointe, Mi often picks the morning after parent teacher conferences for a fun assembly show. But Julie admits that the show is not really for the kids, it’s more for the teachers. They need a break. After a long day of talking to parents in conferences, Julie wants the teachers at her school to have a morning off. For those days, she picks assembly shows that are more entertaining than educational. Other schools choose fun assembly shows for that last day before winter or Easter break or save them for field day events in June. Sometimes, as part of a PBIS (positive behavior intervention support) program, schools will book “just for fun” programs as a reward for good behavior. Kids who act up during the year will work hard to get their behavior in check when a reward assembly is on the schedule.
For the rest of a student’s life they will be attending meetings and conferences surrounded by large numbers of people. School assembly programs are a great place for students to learn proper audience behavior. Practicing being quiet when necessary, applauding when appropriate, and understanding how to react to a speaker are all lessons that need to be learned. Younger students will learn these lessons by being around older kids who already know what to do. Teachers seated on the sidelines can model proper behavior for their students to emulate.
Having a non-educational program will be great for your schools morale and students’ well being. Sometimes just getting away from the classroom for a (well planned) surprise assembly show will provide a perfect break to a hectic week. And who knows, maybe your next assembly program will inspire a student to one day take to the stage him/herself. And on top of all that, students sharing a laugh with a teacher might even help to reinforce a growing bond which will lead to better classroom performance.
The Laugh Factory comedy show by Scheer Genius Assembly Shows is a great pick for a “just for fun” program. It’s a comedy show for kids where magic goes haywire and crazy games, smelly tennis shoes, giant underwear, and exploding soda cans have been known to make appearances.