Experiences That Prepare Students For Life

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by Gordon Taylor/Region 10 ESC Executive Director

I recently had the privilege of announcing for the Wylie Marching Invitational band contest. That meant reading scripts, thanking sponsors, and making the occasional “lost keys” announcement while 26 marching band performances took place. I’ve been asked over the years to do this type of thing and I usually say yes if I’m available because I enjoy watching student activities.

As we were driving to the stadium that morning, my son Coleman asked what other events I’ve announced in the past. I began listing them: wrestling and track meets, awards banquets, drill team dance shows, FFA/4-H exhibitions, and elementary music programs. Once I even delivered commentary during the radio broadcast of a basketball game.

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I love watching marching bands – the very large groups like Allen High School’s which covers an entire football field with musicians and impresses everyone with its sheer size and volume. Then there are the smaller bands, like Sherman High School’s, which creatively mesh instrumental music with vocals, dance, and a staircase prop to simulate the movement of water.

As I ticked off the list to Coleman, I again realized the abundance of opportunities Texas students have to participate in activities which highlight their personal strengths, expose them to a variety of experiences, and prepare them for life. I hope we never allow those opportunities to die in the name of school accountability and educational rigor.

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