Listening to the opening sounds of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” Album by The Beatles is meant to the give the listener the feel of being at a live performance.
The premise is that we are at an imaginary concert where the Sgt. Pepper Band is performing. Ambient sounds fill the opening grooves of the album: an orchestra is tuning up and audience voices echo throughout a concert hall. There is a feeling of anticipation and invitation as this fantasy band begins to play.
The Beatles had ceased live performance in 1966 prior to creating the “Sgt. Pepper” album. The band blissfully retreated to the peaceful confines of the recording studio in pursuit of creativity, collaboration and innovation. The opening track of their new album is a rallying cry of innovation for an alter-ego band they had adopted. This imaginary band opens their setlist with arms extended to the listener. Sgt. Pepper’s band is “guaranteed to raise a smile” for the listener. All are invited to come and see the show. The listener is welcomed as being a part of Sgt. Pepper’s “lovely audience.”
Earlier this week, I was hearing “Sgt. Pepper” resonate in my mind as I was walking into school and I simply couldn’t stop smiling.
I am new to this school community and entering on journey as their principal. With this being my third principalship, I am keeping up with a tradition to learn, listen and visit as I enter upon the marrow of the schoolhouse. I love being able to connect with our students, teachers and families with new and fresh eyes.
It was inspiring seeing one teacher greeting students at the door as they entered our schoolhouse. This was not a typical morning routine for this teacher and I marveled at the personal connections being forged.
Earlier, I had spoken with this particular educator in my One-on-One Teacher Time about the importance of having a positive school culture for our kids. We talked about the need to #CelebrateMonday as a way to build a culture that was inviting for all students to feel safe, empowered and inspired. We discussed the beauty in the simplicity of greeting students with kind words as they entered the schoolhouse. I shared some of the wisdom I had learned from School Culture Recharged by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker. It was such an uplifting conversation and I was thrilled to collaborate with and support this teacher for the upcoming school year.
Seeing this same teacher welcoming students uplifted me even more. I also heard those opening notes of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” reverberate in my internal turntable and thought that this moment is yet another schoolhouse lesson to learn from The Beatles: Welcome all to the masterpiece that is the schoolhouse and make everyone feel valued and invited.
What if every day was a positive opening for a student akin to The Beatles triumphant fanfare at the beginning of their 1967 “Sgt. Pepper” album? It can completely happen and I am thrilled to see how this one teacher served as a positive spark for our schoolhouse. Looking forward to future positive greetings from our band of teachers for our students in the upcoming years!