Are School Assemblies Compulsory?
This may depend on your school district but, no. School assemblies are not compulsory or mandatory. Attendance to them perhaps is but, that is up to whoever is organizing it. That may be a relief to hear if you think there are no benefits to school assemblies but, let’s examine that a bit later.
There are no statues or laws that indicate a school must hold an assembly. It’s just something a lot of schools do for an announcement, a welcome back, or to expose students to areas of interest and a break. So, before you start celebrating that you don’t have to do one let’s talk about whether you should anyways.
Are School Assemblies a Waste of Time?
Not many educators would agree with the notion that school assemblies are a waste of time. There are several benefits to having them that are easily and immediately demonstrated:
-School camaraderie. A pep rally could be considered a school assembly and not many people would call that a waste of time. The students get riled up and celebrate one identity that includes all of them. School assemblies that promote a social atmosphere promote student unification.
-Celebrate achievement. Is promoting academic achievement a waste of time? Not many would agree with that. A student assembly can be used to celebrate and inspire students to study harder, learn more diverse subjects, and not see learning as a chore.
-A classroom break with learning. Many school assembly programs are fun activities and lessons hidden behind a show. Others are subjects not taught in classrooms, like how to deal with bullies. Social skills can be taught rather than learned in the chaos of a lunchroom or recess field. Surely none of these are wastes of time as interpersonal skills are wildly important for life.
Have You Had One?
If you’re wondering are school assemblies mandatory or are school assemblies a waste of time, chances are you’ve never had one. Its effect on students is immediately obvious and the benefits will soon register to the organizers. Students become re-engaged in their lessons, fully energized and excited about school. It’s tough to sit at a desk all day and memorize facts that you’ve yet learned are important. It’s easy to forget that when you grow up.
So, before you dismiss the idea of having a school assembly just give one a shot. Whether it’s an educational presentation, an awards show, or a pep rally. Take a moment and notice how students are after versus before the assembly. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.
Don’t Treat Them as a Must
Now that you know school assemblies aren’t mandatory, consider whether you could be wrong about not having them. The benefits above didn’t come from a vacuum, it’s what other teachers and administrators have noticed about having them. School assemblies can be wildly vital to a student’s education and create some fond memories. It also allows teachers to be more creative with how they teach. For example, if you notice your class struggling with math or chemistry, do a school assembly program that teaches those subjects from another angle.
There are plenty of things to do instead of having everyone sit and listen to a bunch of announcements. You can create a real sense of community among your students that encourage them to help each other through studies.
If you treat school assemblies as compulsory then you’re less inclined to be creative with them and see them as a value offered to your students. Take a look through our academic entertainment programs and you’ll be surprised how many would enhance your lesson plan.
So, are school assemblies mandatory? No. Are school assemblies a waste of time? Absolutely not. Give one a try and see for yourself.