Principal Danique Dolly, Josh and Ryan at City Neighbors High School

Can you remember being a child, sitting in a school assembly?

As the gym or auditorium slowly filled up with every person in the school, you would scan the crowd for a friend or two, and when you found them, you’d joke around or make plans.  As everyone settled down, the Principal would walk up to the microphone, and the program would begin.

Inevitably, at some point during the show, it got too noisy somewhere in the crowd.  The Principal would walk back up to the mic and stop everything.  “People,” his voice would boom.  “Time to quiet down back there.  I’m waiting.  Thank you.”  Right in the middle of the show!  As though it were part of the show.  In fact, it was part of the show – and that is the point of this blog post.    It was the regularly scheduled program.

Every school has a regularly scheduled program.

The other day I was at City Neighbors High School for the annual Talent Show.  As you may know, City Neighbors High School is in its 2nd year as a school, and shares its campus with City Neighbors Hamilton (K-5).  Imagine 180 students, freshman and sophomores slowly filling up the auditorium.  Kids, parents, teachers, and the young students of City Neighbors Hamilton came to see the Talent Show.

As everyone settled down, the Principal of CNHS, Mr. Danique Dolly, walked up to the microphone, and the program began.  There were dancers, singers, bands, hip hop, rap, spoken word, guest performers and teacher-performers.  It was wonderful.

At one point during the show, things got a little noisy in the back of the room.  It so happened that Principal Dolly was at the microphone, talking, when he noticed the noise.  He turned off his microphone and said, in an quiet, private, off-the-air tone, “People, time to quiet down back there.  I’m waiting.  Thank you.”

Exact same words as our old principals used to use.  But here’s the part that I noticed.  Principal Dolly turned back on the mic, and with his winning smile, said, “OK, folks, now back to our regularly scheduled program.”

That is it!   When Mr. Dolly turned off the mic to scold a bit and remind, he made sure the students knew that the regularly scheduled program is not the negative one.   The regularly scheduled program at our new high school is the one filled with creativity, joy, self expression, and courage.

What is your  regularly scheduled program?