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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Friday, June 10, 2005

The Kings Have Left The Building

It seems like just yesterday I was writing about the nail biting prospect of tackling my very first grade level show. Actually, come to think of it, it seems like just the day before that I was talking about tackling my very first classroom. Man, time flies when you're teaching kids.

Anyway, after reading about the show on this blog, a few of you emailed me and expressed interest in how it all went. I thank y'all for that, sincerely. To recap, every grade in my school has to do a grade level show. Our theme, Disney, was picked for us by a few of the third grade teachers. For the record, I have never been a huge Disney fan and considering I would be doing the show BY MYSELF I wanted something quick, easy and relatively painless.

The idea to do "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" from Disney's Lion King just hit me out of the blue and seemed to stick. I knew the original lyrics definitely needed some tweaking to not only make it more grade appropriate, but to make it more applicable as well. My "vision" was to have the kids sing about how they couldn't wait to be kings of the school since, as 4th graders, they would be the upper classmen next year, all except for one that is, and believe you me, THAT was awkward.

While Barry Manilow I'm not, I think I can hold my own in the writing the songs department. Here are the rewritten lyrics, edited slightly to protect the anonymous and innocent:

We Just Can't Wait To Be Kings

We're gonna be the kings and queens, so **** School beware!
Well, here's the part we tell all about why you should care.

We're gonna be the main event, like no class was before,
Watch us now we studied hard, we're ready for grade FOUR!

Well it's a rather, inspiring thing-

Oh we just can't wait to be kings!

No one saying do this!
No one saying be there!
No one saying stop that!
No one saying see here!

We'll have it all one day,
We'll do it all our way.

From math to health to reading, and even when in art,
We learned a lot and now we're like, really smart.

Now we know just where we are headed so watch out!
Make room for us 4th graders, I wouldn't hang about.

We're moving on up to the 4th grade wing-

Oh we just can't wait to be kings!

Everybody look left.
Everybody look right.

Everywhere you look I'm standing in the spotlight! (not yet)

So join in with us now as we sing,
Stand up and shout and flash your fancy bling,
Imagine the applause this song will bring…

Oh we just can't wait to be kings!
Oh we just can't wait to be kings!
Oh we just can't waiiiitttt..

to be kings!

I know that just reading the lyrics really doesn't do the show justice, but unfortunately it's all I got. The choreography gave the song it's personality, but I can't show it to you here. If you've ever seen Kids Incorporated and then saw this show you would probably know where I got my musical influence. And if you've ever seen Debbie Allen in Fame you would know the kind've director I was as well. ("You want fame?...Well, fame costs. And the price is sweat.")

I also have a few hams in my class, one of which whose legendary status caused me to give him the "everywhere you look I'm, standing in the spotlight" line, complete with his own, hands free, Old Navyesque microphone. Everyone else looks at him at this point, crosses their arms and rolls their eyes, which is really nothing different than what we do every day. Another girl in my class then proceeds to pull him back by his shirt. The whole year he has been fighting to be front and center and now he finally got his chance.

Meanwhile, another girl in my class who is normally very quiet (and also wants to be the first African American female president, thank you very much) did an amazing job with picking up the choreography and performing it with animation. So when it came time to choose a third grader to dress up and play the role of Minnie, she instantly came to mind. A few other teachers were trying to figure out how to get a girl from their class out of their costume (because they sang first) and get her into the Minnie costume. That's when I said, "can't it just be any third grader?" which obviously it could. So my student got recruited and did a great job. I told her that she couldn't be president till she was 35 anyhow, so she might as well act in the meantime. After all, it worked for Ronald Reagan.

The whole show was topped off with the entire third grade singing M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E. The kids had never heard it before so we kept playing it over and over shouting, AGAIN! LOUDER! FOREVER LET US HOLD OUR BANNER HIGH! HIGH! HIGH! HIGH! If only they would pick up their school work as easily as they did the songs, I'd be teaching geninuses. Overall I'd say the show was a success, of course very few teachers actually saw it considering we also had workshop training today so anyone who teaches K-2 was sequestered for a few hours.

As we sat around today we all breathed a sigh of relief, talks have already begun about next year's show. All we know is it has to be something....ON STAGE this way we can use the same glitterified banner. In the meantime, with 12 days of school left to go, we still have to survive three more assemblies. Fortunately, all I have to do is show up.:)



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