This play (like anything really important, I'm starting to believe) was extra. It wasn't part of the curriculum, and as my dad was so fond of saying, it was a "hassle." Borrowing costumes, squeezing in practices, corralling squirrelly five- and six-year-olds into their places. Teaching the lesson myself would have been much more efficient.
But the kids experienced something - and took something away from that experience - that isn't testable or data-driven or recorded in a benchmark or standard or dictated by any committee.
They tried something they had never done before. They worked for it. They failed, re-imagined, and found better ways. They were creative and took the risk to make improvements. Some of the best parts of the final product came from their suggestions And when it was all over, they were truly proud. And I was, too.
This is to remind myself to raise the bar.