I was in charge of sophomores last year and we did Sadie's. It was good because I planned a dance, figured out what needed to be tweaked, etc. So when the Student Government Advisor asked me to move up and take care of Juniors, seeing as I teach Juniors and am around them all the time, I said sure. That meant that once again we decorated halls for Homecoming but that I was also in charge of Prom.
Here is something you should know about me. I'm not a procrastinator. I HATE procrastination. The stress, the what-if's, the hope it will work. So prom wasn't a huge deal, or at least, was minimized as much as possible.
We solidified our theme before Christmas and started really deciding how to decorate, where to host, etc. after Christmas break. We decided to go with an Oriental theme this year for a few reasons. 1. Three of the four people on my committee were boys. 2. Almost every prom over the last few years had been a garden theme. 3. Garden themes around here tend to look like wedding receptions. 4. I already had my reception and these guys are too young and will have their own some day. 5. Oriental prom would look really really cool.
We ordered things from prom decorating magazines that came in kits, but when we opened the kit for our main piece, a 12 foot tall dragon that extended about 20 feet, it said it estimated ten hours to build. So, the full week before prom, we got together for an hour or so to begin assembling our dragon.
Three of the four of my great group of kids in front of the dragon. We got this part up and then the next night, me and a few moms inflated about 50 balloons, attached them to fishing line, draped them with red and gold shiny paper (seen above on the floor) and extended him about 20 feet back. He made an impression to say the least :)
For this dragon, my Junior class president took on the task of making two of them both for the assembly and then to cover two huge display cases. They found a pattern on the internet, traced them on pieces of cardboard, cut and painted them. Two about two weeks of class time to complete.
One of the advisors I worked with had the idea of recreating these - in the magazine they were about $200 for two, but this way it was much, much cheaper.
See all the beautiful red gossamer hanging? My AMAZING husband took the time the Thursday to hang wire around the concrete pillars and then the Friday night got back up on the lift and stapled the gossamer at both ends, draping it over about 100 feet of space. Repeat four times. Remember how I said I was married to an amazing guy? Yea, I really, really am.
The above is the view straight on, and then below is the view completed so you can see where the dragon was - I forgot to take any pictures at all - luckily there was a teacher there more on the ball than me, but that also means I forgot to get one of the dragon all put together. However, I figured we hit a homerun when the first hour of prom had groups of students gathered around the dragon, taking their own pictures.
There are several things I'm proud of for my first run as prom advisor. One, our assembly didn't go over hardly at all, something that can be an issue. Two, we were done decorating at 7:00 pm Friday night. These things often take until midnight. Three, this dance was the highest money making dance in several years. We pre-sold tickets, making it much easier when it was time for the students to arrive. And four, I received several compliments from fellow teachers over how impressed they were, both with how it looked, the turn out and the organization.
One last thing, though I can't take credit for it. We vote for both prom king and queen and had a top ten of each. This year's Juniors do the preliminary voting, the ten are presented in an assembly and then the whole school votes on them. One of the finalists was a Down Syndrome boy named Joey. While I'm not supposed to reveal how close the votes were, I have to say this - Joey won with at least triple the votes of the next boy, and when his name was announce at the dance, well, there are very few times when I have heard a collective exclamation louder than that one.
People say lots of things about teens these days, but I love these kids, their dedication to what they are passionate about, and the kindness they can show without any coaxing from teachers or parents.
If these are the kids who will be in charge, the future is bright indeed.