What Could He Say?

Dear New Media Center Specialist,

I am the parent of an 8th grader, Shane, who was at the morning show meeting yesterday. He came home with information about the many, many changes made to the show. I realize that you weren’t at Wood last year, so I’d like to give you a little background on what the show was like previously.

Both of my kids worked on the morning show. My son, Shane, showed up bright and early every day for two full years. He trained on the technical equipment and learned to use every, single machine in the booth. He was one of only two 8th graders who were coming back to the ‘tech’ side of the morning show this year – and as such, Shane was promoted to the position of Student Director – which was scheduled to start when he started 8th grade.

THIS was going to be Shane’s year to direct the show. He had worked exceptionally hard for the title, and had waited two full years to get there. And every day, while working under other directors, Shane was reminded that 8th grade would be HIS year. The adult leader confirmed it: in 8th grade, Shane would finally have his chance to direct, to be a leader, and to promote the positive feelings that have always been associated with Wake Up Wood.

And the positive feelings in previous years abounded. morning show was a way of life for these kids. They got up early and went to school way before their classmates. They set up the show, made the graphics and video openings, found and played songs, ran cameras, created captions – they produced, anchored, directed.

The feelings of self-esteem that arise from putting together a show like that every day … they can’t be expressed in words. These kids DID SOMETHING GREAT.

And now that is gone. Without warning and without any recognition for the kids who have worked so hard, it was announced in an informal meeting that it’s over. Decades of tradition, plus two years of hard work, were simply erased.

An extra 20 kids or so went to the meeting – students who had never stepped foot in the morning show booth. The whole school was invited and encouraged to join the ‘new’ show. Meanwhile, the kids who spent two years preparing for their time to shine were simply ignored.

Shane, the director, sat among the other students, unable to speak. What could he say? When he came home, he was so upset – not only because he was losing his leadership role, but because the whole show was just … GONE.

Will these 8th graders get any recognition at all? Couldn’t they have some kind of leadership role in the new morning show? They certainly had no choice in the change of format. What do they get for their two years of early morning hard work?

These 8th graders could be your leaders, your assistants, your “directors.” Is there anything – anything – that can be done for the few who worked so hard for so long?

I would really appreciate any feedback on this. And again, I am sorry to meet you under these circumstances. You weren’t here for any of the history. You aren’t responsible for the loss of a decades-long tradition.

But maybe you can do something. I am hoping that you will.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *