Talent Days Offer Every Child a Chance to Shine

Come to Talent Days at our school and you’ll see children sharing a kaleidoscope of skills and interests—doing magic, photography, cooking, writing, gymnastics; training pets; and singing or playing instruments. No matter what the sharing, though, an audience of classmates, teachers, parents, and others invited by the children offers enthusiastic support and appreciation.

This annual spring celebration takes place in the music classroom, but it’s designed to allow all students to be recognized, whether their special interest is in music or some other area. Even those children who choose not to share play an important role as respectful audience members.

Each class has its own Talent Day. By early spring, the children have gotten to know each other well and the music room has become a comfortable, safe-feeling environment. Students can choose to do their three-minute presentation solo or with one or two classmates, a parent or other family member, or an adult who instructs them in their special skill. Skills that can’t be presented in the classroom (cooking, roller skating) are shared via video or photographs.

Over the years, I’ve seen children benefit in many ways from their Talent Day experiences. Not long ago, a very quiet, new-to-the-school child was having trouble finding a place in her fourth grade class. On Talent Day, she shared her brown-belt karate techniques, and the other children began to appreciate something that was important to their new classmate. To me, that’s the best part of Talent Days: giving children who have been stumbling a chance to shine.

Doni Princehorn teaches music to kindergartners through fourth graders at the University School of Nashville in Tennessee.

Tags: Building Schoolwide Community, Whole-school meetings

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