Ms. Zena's Z-Battical: Becoming a Cheerleader

By Zena posted 02-23-2014 21:50


One of the most difficult yet beautiful awakenings I've had on this journey has been to accidentally become a Cheerleader. I spend a day in a school, watching an incredible teacher work his or her magic with students...and at the end of that day, I tell that teacher, quite specifically, what I saw that inspired or encouraged or excited or thrilled me. And I watch a face light up...a heart lift...a spirit rise.


WHAT? I am NO ONE. I am just another Theatre teacher who has happened into this classroom and am sharing the good I see happening.


But for that teacher at that moment, I become a Cheerleader.


Sometimes, it is a newer teacher who has no idea if s/he is doing the “right things”. Sometimes it is a teacher who is close to retirement, but has so little administrative support. Sometimes it is a teacher who has had a really really rough year. Sometimes it is a teacher who has it work...but life outside is falling apart.

I don't think it matters what the reason or situation...all Theatre teachers need a Cheerleader.


Few in our schools know what we actually do or how we do it...and their praise is appreciated but vacuous. Our administrators rarely know what exactly we teach, and thus don't really know how to support us or cheer us on.  We work the most insane hours. We handle the most personal of issues. We walk a fine line between teacher/professional & parent/confidant. We know these kids on levels few others do. We are their Cheerleader EVERY day...we need to be, we want to be. And yet, we often do not have our own.


So, if the only good I do by going into all these schools across the country is to be a Cheerleader for some, I will gladly be that.


But so can you.


Because even though you may need a Cheerleader for yourself, you can start by being one for someone else. It doesn't take much.


I wish I had done this sooner...and more often. I wish I had reached out to more of my peers. It is easier to be a Cheerleader than I ever imagined. I feel like I am spreading sparkles when I do this. And now that I have started, I don't want to stop.



I want to spread



I know it sounds silly...and I know it doesn't solve the problems and challenges that we each face.  But it sure makes them easier to take on.  So help me spread a cheerleader.