On my flight home from the EdTA conference, I sat next to a police officer from Union Township (Cincinnati for us not locals) who had a rough day on the job. After hearing a bit about his very bad day, we finally got around to discussing that I was a theater teacher. He immediately lit up to tell me how he just took his wife to her first show, the Cameron Macintosh version of "Phantom of the Opera." Even remembering the show gave him goosebumps, and it was a great moment to see advocacy in action. Throughout the discussion he learned the difference between a regional theater and the Broadway tour, that you pay for permission to perform a show, and about the different jobs in theater. He was so excited to have someone to ask questions to and to share his own experience in high school seeing "Oklahoma" and how it affected him. He said he would love to see more, but with a newborn on an officer's salary it can sometimes be expensive. I suggested he go see some high school or college shows for a cheap date. His comment was finding about the shows was hard.
It got me thinking about my own police officer's back home...I would have loved to hand that Union Township officer and his family tickets to see my high school's show for free. But I bet there are officers with the same story back in Boston.
I personally invite school board members and administrators, but I think it's time to expand those personal invitations to the others in my community who make it possible for me to do my job, and do it safely. Maybe it's time to add police officers and fire fighters to that personal invitation list. Even if they can't come, knowing that I value them enough to personally invite them is enough for me.
But does it stop at a personal invitations? Does anyone offer free or discounted tickets to your community officers?
And, finally, how can I connect him with the educational theater scene in his hometown of Cincinnati?