Cedarcrest Staff Drill Routine - Homecoming 2009 · 4 October 2009

Even in our high school of great kids, staff members rarely get cheers. There are those who get nods and shouts of greetings and even high fives in the hallways, but rarely does the whole student body scream and shout like rabid fans when teachers are in front of them. But that was the scene when a bunch of staff members did a drill routine for the homecoming assembly at Cedarcrest High School.

Homecoming has a rich tradition with dress up days, royalty being selected from the student body, and of course, a football game. At our school, many staff members dress up on the dress up days. (Some have said it is a week when they can come to school in pajamas or sweats and get praised for it.) And they like to come up with ways to entertain the student body.

This year’s entertainment was a drill routine choreographed by a drill team officer. Our coach, Amanda (whose name I had to look up because I missed the practice when she was introduced), showed great patience and dedication in teaching us how to do the routine. We only had time to practice with her for a couple weeks and seldom had everybody there, but we all worked hard to get the routine down. We drilled to the song Mama Mia and I am sure our coach wondered if that guy in the back would ever get it down. That guy was me and I was humbled by the complexities of contorting my own body and amazed by our coach’s efforts to teach us the routine and get us all to move harmoniously.

For me, even moving to different places during the routine was difficult. I was ecstatic one morning before practice when I finally figured out how to “princess walk!” It had taken me days to figure out when to keep my legs straight and when to bend them. On a different walk, I laughed every time. The straight-legged walk that made the girl’s hair bounce was just too funny. I even laughed when we made our way in for the performance doing that walk.

Even though it took us time to get the whole routine down, the hard work was worth all the cheers and shouts at the homecoming assembly. The crowd noise was deafening as we marched in for the performance to the whistle of our captain. Over the shouts and cheers, I heard some of my freshman football players call out my name before we started. The shouts were probably due to the fact that I was at the wrong end of the line and had to scurry to my position after everybody else was set to begin (I obviously missed that marching in practice too).

The music began and I am sure that I was the only one to miss the opening cue, but after that, I caught up with the rest of our precision drill team. The students thought we were great. Or at least they cheered like they thought we were. At one point in the routine when we were on our knees leaning backward then coming forward again, they really cheered like we did something amazing. They really should have cheered right afterward when we were all able to get up from that position. It was great hearing the constant cheering throughout the performance.

The drill routine only lasted about a minute and a half, but it was a minute and a half of adulation from the students that made all the work worthwhile. They cheered like we were rock stars on the stage. Not because we were great, but because we were having fun entertaining them. Because we showed them a different side of ourselves than they are used to seeing.

I am sure that Monday, the students will go back to greeting us with nods, shouts, and high fives in the hallways. But most of them will have a new appreciation of the teachers and other staff members of our school. They will see us in a different light just because we did something a little different.

Personally, I will treasure the experience of being a drill teamer for a couple weeks. Even though it means that I will get razzed a bit for my ineptitude. My freshman football players have already asked me to teach them some moves. And I am sure I will get more teasing for a time. But it was worth it. Not for the glory, but for the chance to show the kids that different side and the opportunity to work with my colleagues in a new way.

I have been changed forever by being a drill teamer. While I want to be cheered by students as I walk up and down the hallways and greeted with applause whenever I start class, I will be happy if I can hear the song Mama Mia without my body involuntarily going into the famous staff drill routine of 2009.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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