Teach to the Emmy

J. Philip - Montauk, New York
Entered on May 11, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe that schools should be more like Saturday Night Live and that teachers should treat each others the way actors do. Every week on SNL there is a well-respected actor who serves as the host for the show. And every week there is someone from the world of music who is there to entertain. This tells me two things: that the veteran SNL actors welcome the guest and admire and learn from him or her. As for the musician, it tells me that the actors also respect other performers from the greater discipline known as The Arts.

The guest star always welcomes the audience before the show begins and the veteran actors collaborate with the guest. There is no envy, there is no showboating; just a celebration of what the guest actor is best known for even though it is most often done tongue-in-cheek. Tongue-in-cheek can only be done properly when there is true admiration, otherwise it is mean. There is no room for mean in schools.

When the musician takes the stage, the other actors sit back and enjoy the performance. They make sure that the musician has all the tools needed to practice his or her art. They do not interfere in this portion of the program because they know that it is important to their guest, their partner in The Arts.

One of the actors each week always reviews the week in world affairs. Of course this is done in jest, but the fact that current events have a special place in the program is an important message for schools. History is important, of course, but the world today is even more important and must be included in everything a school does, even if a few jabs are taken now and then. Once again the other actors collaborate and bring to the discussion their own special talent. Very often the guest host is also included.

Every year in The Arts the actors celebrate their craft and the accomplishments of their colleagues. They celebrate everyone in their field: actors, directors, producers, choreographers, sound engineers, make-up artists and more. They do not use the term “us and them”. They say “we”. I believe that schools would be better places if the word “we” was used more often and if the special gifts of our colleagues were celebrated more often.

When the program is over all of the actors, the guest host, and the musician say farewell to the audience and then they all hug each other and praise one another for another fine performance. They hug not only the guest but they hug each other as well, even though they work with them on an everyday basis; no one is ever left out. I believe that schools should be more like Saturday Night Live and that the teachers proclaim proudly and publicly that they respect one another and the role that each person plays. I believe that teachers should applaud each other, the way actors always do.