Tonight (December 20th) was the AES Christmas concert. I volunteered to help out with the concert, and was assigned the job of being backstage behind the curtain managing the grade 7’s by myself. This entailed making sure they were on-task and silent while the concert was happening on the other side of the curtain. I had to make sure they were seated, and not talking, as the people on stage, as well as the majority of the audience would be able to hear them. I also had to make sure the right people were transitioning onto the stage at the right times when it was their turn to talk (concert was student-led by grade 7’s). I was super nervous to do this particular job, as I have had zero prior experience with grade 7’s, and the Christmas concert is a huge deal at my practicum school, so I had to make sure everything went smoothly backstage!
It went a lot better than I had anticipated it would, which was great. I found that grade 7’s are EXTREMELY chatty, but that I could manage them similar to how I have been managing my 4/5 class. You have to be firm, but fair with them. I explained my expectations of them during the concert, and why it was so important to follow these expectations. There were a couple of times where I had to walk over and tell a few “reindeer” to quiet down, or give them a “look”, but overall, it went really well. It is really important to start off firm, as it is way easier to back down from there than it is to become firmer as time goes on. It also helps that they are at an age where they’re old enough to know better/know how important the concert is, so when i’d tell them to stop doing something, they would.
Everything was going great, and then at the very last song of the night, where the choir comes up and sings a version of “Joy to the World”, a member of the choir fell backwards off of the bench and almost tore the whole curtain down! So of course when that happened, the entire room of grade 7’s started cracking up laughing. I had to silently run back and fourth trying to quiet everyone down while some of them were literally rolling on the floor laughing, while the choir continued their song (the curtain never fell down). Thankfully they were able to get a hold of themselves, and the concert continued on without anyone seeming to notice what was going on backstage! Where’s Rudolph? was a success, and I got a taste of managing a bunch of grade 7’s!