School Dance

I got roped into chaperoning a school dance.

Okay, you caught me. I was hoping for the opportunity since I started teaching. Why? I want to act as sociologist, studying the behavior of my students in a setting as much outside of the educational context as I’m going to see them. (Yeah, being in NYC, I see my students on the subway at random times and places, but that’s not this…) Adults aren’t acknowledged, at least not at my school dances. I and all my friends ignored all our teachers at homecoming and prom. I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the teacher’s desk. Now I’m curious what it’s like on the other side of the dance floor…

One teacher said that after she chaperoned a dance at her previous school, she couldn’t look her students in the eyes for the rest of the year.


I’ll report back with general observations, if I have any. Stay tuned.

Update: The night wasn’t scandalous, and chaperoning was just a lot of standing around. The few observations I had:

  1. Old school Britney (“Toxic”) will get all students to the dance floor.
  2. Old school Britney will get the chaperones who are assigned the dance area to dance. (Yes, that was me.)
  3. Cutting off a poppy-electronic-song with a female vocalist (like many on the videogame Dance Dance Revolution) will cause howls of execration.
  4. 4. Playing Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” is the closest you can get to having a “High School Musical” spontaneous song-and-dance-number moment.
  5. You can earn bonus points with students if you find a tube of lip gloss at the end of the dance, and ask them: “Hey, this lip gloss belong to anyone? It be poppin'” [see this video for explanation]

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