With a packed house, the fifth graders took to the stage and locked in their audience from the outset. This year’s performance was particularly special for all involved, because it marked the first time that students managed the performance without faculty direction. Both Mr. Bliss and Ms. Dreyfus were present, but gave the students the reigns and remained on the sidelines to coach when needed. The result was a big success, not only for the sake of the play, but also for the grade as a whole. Choosing, rehearsing, and performing a play as a cohesive unit is a challenge for any age group. These students pulled off a successful performance and did so under their own management.

Grade level drama performances are a common theme, especially at the middle school level. At IMS, the goal of such a performance is to build community, encourage teamwork, and push students out of their comfort zones. Taking risks is something that we embrace on a daily basis, and the fifth grade play is an important piece of that puzzle. The outcome of tackling this shared challenge brought the grade closer together, and further strengthened their bonds as classmates. There is something to be said about the growth achieved through such a process, especially when the result is so successful.