At my school, we have an annual "gala," a big fundraiser/play/dance performance/music recital all based on the humanities curriculum. You heard right, we couldn't figure out how to put math and science into it. However, rehearsal this year was on pi day (3/14, or 3.14), so it's really just science that got left out. And...it's over! It's been a hard one this year. I think it's because in the entire 3rd term, we had only 18 normal teaching days. No wonder I've been feeling my students are behind. They are!
I feel the gala is a really cool experience for the kids. They get to create a play and have it come together, and perform it at a professional theater. I have one student who started the year wearing a hat and trench coat, and disappearing into them. I'm sure partly it was my fabulous teaching, but being in dance and being a performer really got him out of his shell. Almost literally! I think it's a great experience for them.
And yet...did I mention only 18 teaching days this term? Also, trying to get 250 middle school students to behave in a theater, well, you can imagine. There was an incident in the men's restroom...you really don't want to know, I promise. If you know a 10-14 year old, imagine the grossest thing they have ever done, then have them do it on purpose. Yeah. You're grossed out, right?
So the answer is, I don't know. It's a great experience that stresses out the teachers ridiculously, creates gross time, and makes the kids have a great experience. I guess I just wonder if this experience could be created at a lesser cost to the school.